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Greens announce plan to turn trash into cash

The Green Party today announced a progressive plan to protect our oceans and the places we love with a ban on plastic bags, refunds on drink containers, a phase-out of plastic packaging, and a commitment to sending zero waste to landfill by 2050.

The Green Party’s plan will:

  • Enable “cash for containers” drinking container refund programmes nationwide.
  • Put in place an immediate 20 cent charge on single use plastic bags, with 15 cents going to community groups for environmental clean-ups and 5 cents for research and development into alternatives.
  • Phase out single-use plastic bags by the end of our first term in Government.
  • Reduce plastic packaging and products through mandatory product stewardship schemes.
  • Commit to a zero waste New Zealand by 2050 goal.

“We love our beaches and our oceans, our plan will protect the places we love from pollution and generate community jobs,” said Green Party leader James Shaw.

“Plastic pollution is a major problem along our coastlines and the time has come for bold action to clean the coastlines up and keep them clean.

“We will ban single use plastic bags by 2020. In the meantime, a 20 cent levy will fund investment in community-led environmental clean-ups and research and development into plastic alternatives.

“A refund programme for recycling drinking containers has been estimated by Envision to double recycling rates, create 2,400 jobs, generate revenue for community groups, and save councils $26-40 million each year.

 

“Cash for trash refund programmes work with kerbside recycling to give people options and help keep recyclable waste out of landfills.

“90 percent of local councils endorsed the idea because they’ve seen that it’s worked in Australia where South Australia, a state with a container deposit scheme, has the lowest rate of litter.

“It’s time to embrace sustainable alternatives such as bamboo and move away from the overuse of plastics in packaging and utensils.

“Declaring plastic cups, plates, utensils and packaging priority products under the product stewardship scheme will allow the cost of disposal to be built in, enable targets to be made for reduction and price-in the cost of disposal – opening a new market for sustainable alternatives.

“Re-committing to a zero waste New Zealand, along with our Trash to Cash plan shows, that we are the only party committed to real leadership on the environment,” said Mr Shaw.