Government's soft plastics recycling scheme won't save our oceans from pollution

The Government’s soft plastics recycling scheme, announced today, won’t address the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans as effectively as a charge on single-use plastic bags, the Green Party said.

“This is a token measure from a government that’s more interested in ‘green wash’ than saving our oceans and marine life,” said Green Party waste spokesperson Denise Roche.

“We launched a Member’s Bill this week to introduce a charge on single-use plastic bags in order to reduce pollution and fund clean-up and waste minimisation education.

“We asked the National Government yesterday if they would support our Bill, but they wrote it off claiming that plastic bags account for little of our waste. Today, they are patting themselves on the back for introducing a scheme that looks good on paper, but will do little to solve the problem.

“Putting a charge on single-use plastic bags has been shown around the world to reduce plastic bag usage and waste. In the UK, there was an 85 percent drop in plastic bag usage in the first six months, and £30 million was raised to go to charities dealing with waste clean ups.

“New Zealanders use 1.6 billion plastic bags every year. That equates to somewhere between 160,000 – 180,000 barrels of oil per year and only one to two percent of those actually make it to the recycling bins. The rest end up in landfill or escape and cause havoc in the marine environment. 

“The Government needs to take the issue seriously by supporting my Member’s Bill, and introduce a charge on single use plastic bags,” said Ms Roche. 

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

NZ needs strong protection against water privatisation

New Zealanders deserve strong protection against the future privatisation of water assets, the Green Party says.
Read More

Story

Nature missing in RMA reform

The Government has missed a crucial opportunity to redesign the resource management system with climate and nature at its heart. 
Read More

Story

Report shows reducing actual farming emissions vital

Evidence shows that relying on offsets to reduce agriculture’s impact on the climate will not work, the Green Party says.
Read More

Story

Budget 2022: Greens call for urgency with nature-first climate investments

Budget 2022 shows progress on conservation commitments in the Green Party’s cooperation agreement Green Party achievements in the last Government ...
Read More

Story

Nature needs us to act right now

The Green Party welcomes the release of the implementation plan for Te Mana o te Taiao Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and calls on the ...
Read More

Story

Urgent action needed to bring natural environment back from the brink

The release today of Environment Aotearoa 2022 is a sobering reminder of what is at stake if the Government does not step up and take urgent action...
Read More

Latest Waste Announcements

Story

Container return scheme will benefit recycling and the oceans

The work Green Ministers did last term is continuing to make a difference, with the announcement today that the Government is planning to introduce...
Read More

Story

Waste strategy needs to learn from nature

Anything less than a transformational national waste strategy and waste legislation will not be enough, the Green Party said today.
Read More

Story

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.
Read More

Story

More action on waste – Government funds recycling infrastructure, moves to standardise kerbside collections

$36.7m Government investment in high-tech recycling plants nationwide Plan to standardise and improve the nation’s kerbside collections As part o...
Read More

Story

New rules for the outdoor storage of tyres

The Government is introducing environmental standards for tyres stored outdoors announced Associate Minister for the Environment, Eugenie Sage. “A ...
Read More

Story

Government announces plan to tackle problem plastics and seven single-use plastic items

Following the success of the phase out of single-use plastic shopping bags, the Government now has plans to phase out more single-use and problem p...
Read More