Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Greens Welcome Progress On Hard To Recycle And Single Use Plastics, But More Needs To Be Done

The Green Party welcomes progress on the phase-out of some hard to recycle plastics and some single-use plastics, but says more must be done.

“Plastic waste is one of our generation's greatest environmental challenges,” says Green Party spokesperson for waste, Eugenie Sage.

New Zealanders dispose of an estimated 159 grams of plastic waste per person per day. With a population of around 5 million the Ministry for the Environment estimates that equates to more than 290,000 tonnes annually. Plastic is the most common litter found on our beaches (61% of all items in surveys for Sustainable Coastline’s Litter Intelligence programme).

“The level of plastic pollution in the oceans is unacceptable. New Zealanders want urgent action, so we welcome the steps announced today,” Sage says.

“Seabirds, turtles, whales and other marine life should not have to die from our plastic pollution. Phasing out expanded polystyrene takeaway containers and single use items such as plastic produce bags, cutlery, and tableware by October 2022 is good for people and planet. It helps reduce plastic waste and pollution.

“It is disappointing the Government has delayed a decision until mid-2022 on whether to phase-out expanded polystyrene used in packaging for large items and chill boxes, and has not yet acted to phase out so-called ‘flushable’ wet wipes containing plastic.

“We wish the Government had heeded the strong public calls to phase out wet wipes containing plastic. They cause troublesome fatbergs in wastewater pipes and contribute to sewage spills in rivers and harbours. In 2019, fatbergs were estimated to be costing communities across New Zealand at least $16 million per year in blockages. Tauranga City Council alone was dealing with two tonnes of wet wipes in their pipes each week.

“Expanded polystyrene is one of the worst forms of plastic. It breaks easily and polystyrene particles are easily washed into streams and the ocean, harming our precious marine life. It is very difficult to recycle and alternatives are available.

“There is a big work programme ahead of the Ministry for the Environment. The Green Party hopes the Ministry and expert sector groups can prioritise phasing out single use cups such as coffee cups (often plastic lined) which New Zealanders use around 295 million of per year. We want to see progress on this well before the Government target date of 2025.

“The proposed review of the Waste Minimisation Act is also urgent. The current legal process around phasing out problem plastics item by item is cumbersome. We need a faster and more comprehensive process.

“The 2019 report, Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand, by the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, paints a vision for a future where there is significantly less plastic entering nature as waste and litter.

“This requires a collective effort by Government, businesses, scientists, innovators and households. Government must lead and take clear and decisive action to drive change towards increased materials recovery, recycling and reducing plastic waste.

“Today’s announcement helps.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Canada’s Election, And The AUKUS Defence Pact

Yesterday, Canada held an election in which everyone lost, including the voters. After holding its most expensive ( $C600 million) election campaign ever, the result was Groundhog Day, with the five main parties getting almost exactly the same number of seats as they did last time around, in 2019. Same overall result too: Liberals leader and PM Justin Trudeau will once again be leading a minority government... More>>

Covid-19, 24/9: 1,131 Overall Cases, 4,900,000+ Vaccine Doses

9 new cases have been discovered in Auckland, currently at Level 3. 886 of the Auckland cases have recovered alongside all of the Wellington cases... More>>



Government: Next Steps To Improve Safety In Wake Of Whakaari White Island Tragedy
The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities... More>>

Government: Expert Group Appointed To Lead New Zealand’s Future Health System
An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says... More>>


Green Party: Kiwis Overseas Must Be Allowed To Vote Next Year
New Zealanders stranded overseas should be allowed to vote in next year’s local government elections and the 2023 general election, the Green Party said today. “The reality of this pandemic is lots of people cannot renew their voting rights when they are home as they normally would... More>>

Power: Bill Changes Bring Fairness To Charges

A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced... More>>

Government: Parks expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
As a result of the Delta outbreak, driver licences, Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), vehicle licences (‘regos’) and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will be valid until 30 November 2021, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today... More>>

Child Poverty Action Group: Highest jump in weekly benefit numbers since first lockdown

The current lockdown has triggered the largest weekly increase in benefit recipient numbers since the first lockdown last year, and Child Poverty Action Group is concerned the Government isn't doing enough to assist affected families... More>>




InfoPages News Channels