Turning trash into cash

The Green Party has a plan to clean up our beaches, create jobs, and transform trash to cash.

Turning trash into cash

We love New Zealand and we love our beaches, our oceans, and our waterways. That’s why we’re committed to protecting them from pollution.

By 2050, oceans will carry more plastic mass than fish, and an estimated 99 per cent of seabirds will have ingested plastic. Because Kiwis love the beach and most of us live close to the ocean, we increase the risk of single use plastics ending up in the marine environment, even by mistake. Our plan will introduce refunds on drink containers, ban plastic bags, phase out unnecessary plastic packaging and commit to a zero-waste New Zealand.

Refunds on drink containers

  • Establish a nationwide network of refund programmes to encourage people to recycle plastic and glass bottles and aluminum cans.

A container deposit scheme has helped make South Australia the cleanest state in Australia, and has the support of 90 percent of local and regional councils in New Zealand.

Ban plastic bags

  • Phase out single-use plastic grocery bags by the end of 2020.
  • In the meantime, immediately introduce a 20 cent levy on plastic bags.
  • Levy revenue will fund community-led environmental clean-ups and research and development into alternatives to plastic.

In Australia, the two biggest retailers (Coles and Woolworths) have announced that they’re banning plastic bags from their stores. China, France, Italy, India, and other countries have banned single use plastic bags. It’s time for New Zealand to step up and protect the places we love by banning the bag.

Phase out unnecessary plastic packaging and products

  • Reduce unnecessary plastic packaging in supermarkets and shops, by declaring plastic packaging a “priority product” under the Waste Minimisation Act.
  • Set targets for reducing and phasing out plastic cutlery, plates, and cups.

Too much plastic packaging is either unrecyclable or hard to recycle because it is a mix of different plastics. We will declare plastic packaging, cups, cutlery and plates as priority products requiring mandatory "product stewardship". This will allow targets to be set so that we can reduce and ultimately phase them out as alternatives like bamboo and paper become more available.

Zero waste New Zealand

  • Commit to a zero waste New Zealand by 2050.
  • Increase the waste levy and reprioritise waste minimisation fund.

We are committed to a bold, transformative vision for the waste sector in New Zealand with no waste going to landfill by 2050 – the same year we have set a goal of zero net greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing waste to landfill will reduce pollution in our waterways and beaches, and generate jobs.