Minister welcomes report of nation’s household plastic rubbish, recycling practices

A new report on New Zealand’s plastic rubbish and recycling practices is being welcomed by the Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage.

“The report by WasteMINZ provides a valuable insight into what’s ending up in household rubbish and recycling bins around the country. It highlights the value of much better product design so products and their materials can be easily re-used or recycled, and the need to reduce what we use, reuse what we can, and recycle properly,” said Eugenie Sage.

 “It’s a timely wake-up call for designers, manufacturers, retailers and marketers to shift towards more recyclable and re-useable packaging. There is a strong public demand for this.”

 Key findings were:

  • An estimated 181 million containers showed no plastic identification code or recycling information.
  • 39 percent of household plastic bottles and containers are being sent to landfill, despite being fully recyclable.

“Through this nationwide trawl of household rubbish and recycling bins, we are able to get a clearer picture of the extent of the challenge and the urgent need for this Government’s ambitious plan to reduce waste.”

The audit and report are part of a three year project supported by a $425,000 grant from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund. The project was led by WasteMINZ New Zealand in partnership with councils and done late last year in several cities and regional towns across New Zealand.

“The management of plastic is a global issue which needs government to set direction, provide leadership and put in place supporting regulations, incentives and investment. That is what we are doing,” said Eugenie Sage.

“This report and the recent report Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand by the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor both provide solid information to help inform our government’s work programme to reduce waste.” 

That plan includes:

  • A container return scheme for drink bottles and cans
  • Regulated product stewardship schemes for tough waste issues such as e-waste, tyres and batteries
  • A National Resource Recovery work programme in response to China and other countries’ bans on importing waste and recyclables
  • Improving waste data
  • Expanding and improving the landfill levy to help fund more ways to recover, re-use and reprocess materials and minimise waste.
  • A $40 million Provincial Growth Fund investment to turn plastic waste into useful material for businesses and consumers.

 “Many solutions already exist. As we focus on solving remaining challenges, we’ll stimulate innovation, create well-paid jobs, create a more efficient economy where resources are re-used, and reduce our impacts on nature” said Eugenie Sage.

More information about the report can be found on WasteMINZ's website: https://www.wasteminz.org.nz/2020/01/nz-now-leads-the-world-in-understanding-plastic-recycling-habits/

Action

Support our Climate Action Plan for bigger bolder climate action

We agree with all five of the School Strike for Climate's demands. Read more and sign the petition.
Take Action

Action

Show your support to end housing inequality

New Zealand’s housing market is becoming increasingly divided between people who own their own homes and those forced to rent for life...
Take Action

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

Flood of support for Top of the South catchment

Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Governm...
Read More

Policy

Healthy nature

Nature sustains us and is the basis of all life.  In Government the Greens have led the way in making sure our precious plants and animals are pr...
See More

Story

OIA reforms mean more attention to nature and cultural values

The Green Party welcome proposed changes to the Overseas Investment Act (OIA) that will see stronger controls on applications by overseas interests...
Read More

Story

California is burning, the US must not walk away from the Paris Agreement

Green Party Co-leader James Shaw has expressed his exasperation at the decision by the United States to officially withdraw from the Paris Agreemen...
Read More

Story

Minister announces fresh funding for community-led Hokianga environment project

A unique project enhancing the mana and wellbeing of the environment and the people of the Hokianga is to receive $300000 over three years from the...
Read More

Story

Minister announces funding to expand food rescue programme for Northland communities

More food is set to be rescued and redistributed in Northland as part of the Government’s plan to reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfills...
Read More

Latest Waste Announcements

Story

Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste

The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release to...
Read More

Story

Government steps up work on tackling waste

The Government today released the next phase of its plan to tackle New Zealand’s mounting waste challenges. Associate Minister for the Environment ...
Read More

Story

Work underway for beverage container return scheme

Work has begun to develop a beverage container return scheme for New Zealand announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage made at ...
Read More

Story

Minister announces funding to expand Para Kore, supporting Māori communities to minimise waste

A project with a zero waste vision for marae is getting extra support to expand into new regions as part of the Government’s plan to tackle New Zea...
Read More

Story

Government backs new community recycling centre for Onehunga

Aucklanders will soon have a new community recycling centre as part of the Government’s plan to reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfills a...
Read More

Story

Govt takes more action to reduce waste

The Government is proposing a new way to deal with environmentally harmful products before they become waste, including plastic packing and bottles...
Read More