Our Seas Our Future welcomes Prime Minister Jacinda Arden’s announcement that the Government is aiming to phase out another round of single-use hard plastics, made of PVC and Polystyrene.
Polystyrene meat trays, coffee cups and takeaway food containers are all significant contributors to our overall plastic waste and expanding the plastics ban to include these items would be another positive step for New Zealand.
Noel Jhinku, OSOF trustee says, “Government leadership is essential in tackling New Zealand’s growing waste problem. After five months, the ban on plastic bags has already made a sizeable difference in consumer behaviour with one less waste stream ending up in our oceans and environment.”
“We’re pleased to see the Government taking further proactive steps to reduce New Zealand’s plastic waste, starting with some of the most commonly used, and least recyclable items. It’s estimated that we use 295 million beverage cups every year, and hundreds of millions of polystyrene meat trays, that are difficult to recycle and end up as unnecessary waste.”
It has previously been estimated that enough polystyrene meat trays to fill 14 Olympic swimming pools are discarded each year.
“While these Government-led initiatives are encouraging to see, a shift towards using high-value alternatives that can be recycled and reprocessed has to be implemented in conjunction with investment in locally based recycling infrastructure.”
“We look forward to the second phase of New Zealand’s plastics ban to be implemented within a reasonable time frame, and welcome the Government’s Rethinking Plastics report.” concludes Jhinku.
Our Seas Our Future also welcomes the promotion of product stewardship schemes for tough waste issues such as e-waste, tyres and batteries. Plans to work with local government and industry on better and more consistent kerbside collection of recyclables, and development of a labelling scheme for packaging, including plastic packaging are also a positive step for our environment.