National wastes chance for green jobs and clean environment

WasteMINZ’s A Wasted Opportunity confirms that National has squandered potentially up to 9000 green jobs, $500 million in economic benefits, and a cleaner environment for New Zealand, the Green Party said today.

The report examines the potential impacts of adjustments to the waste levy - a per tonne charge set by the government - and concludes that a higher rate would have a host of economic and environmental benefits for New Zealand.

A Wasted Opportunity is a damning indictment on National’s mismanagement of the waste sector,” said Green Party MP, Denise Roche.

“The amount of waste going to landfill has climbed by nearly 30 percent through their term in government from around 2.5 million tons in 2009 to nearly 3.3 million today, with only 28 percent of it being recycled.

“WasteMINZ’s report highlights what we need to do: increase the charge on waste, diversify the types of rubbish we can charge it on, do more monitoring and better investment of the income levy.

“These policies will have plenty of economic and environmental benefits. The most obvious environmental benefits include reduced greenhouse gas emissions and cleaner rivers through reduced leachate levels. Making these changes will also create up to 9000 jobs and an estimated $500 million in economic benefits per year.

“Disappointingly, another report released today by the Ministry for Environment fails to endorse measures which would deal with the waste crisis. Rather than backing what industry experts and the community are saying - National is delaying action through proposing more investigation.

“New Zealanders know that National isn’t delivering real leadership. 93 percent of Kiwis believe that waste and recycling is an important issue and only 29 percent believe that the Government does a good job.

"The Green Party endorses A Wasted Opportunity. We will bring real leadership to this sector by phasing in zero-waste targets, increasing the waste levy, and use the product stewardship scheme to reduce waste.

“New Zealanders deserve a government that will embrace green jobs and a clean environment.”

 

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