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/

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

Green Party commits to stronger urban tree protection and no new mines on public conservation land

The Green Party is the only party in Parliament which is explicitly committing to protecting public conservation land and the indigenous plants and...
Read More

Story

Greens must be at table during RMA reform to protect environment

The Green Party welcomes Labour’s commitment to reform the Resource Management Act, but says a Green voice is crucial to ensure the environment is ...
Read More

Petition

Take action to protect our oceans

We’re taking the health of our oceans seriously and our Thriving Oceans Plan sets out exactly how the Green Party will protect them so we all can e...
TAKE ACTION

Thriving Oceans

Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet and home to thousands of taonga species, providing us with nourishing food to feed our families, supporting...
Read More

Farming for the Future

Here in Aotearoa, we can have a thriving and sustainable farming sector that is good for farmers, good for people, and good for the planet. By mak...
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

Latest Waste Announcements

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

Story

Government to regulate environmentally harmful plastic packaging, tyres, e-waste

The Government is stepping up action to deal with environmentally harmful products – including plastic packaging, tyres and e-waste – before they b...
Read More

Story

Government steps up action on waste - funds recycling infrastructure and expands levy scheme

As part of a broader plan to reduce the increasing amount of rubbish ending up in New Zealand’s landfills, the Government is to fund new recycling ...
Read More

Story

Funding for Kaipara district community waste programmes

Waste reduction and recycling programmes in Kaipara are set to get a boost with Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today announcing a $361...
Read More