Marine conservation non-profit Our Seas Our Future (OSOF) welcomes the Government’s announcement on Sunday confirming the phase out of more single-use plastics, but is disappointed by the time frame of the plan.
Our Seas Our Future spokesperson, Lesl van der Voorn says, “Phasing out these single-use plastics is a positive step to address our growing plastic pollution problem. We are disappointed, however, that the time frame outlined won’t see some of these items phased out until 2025.”
OSOF’s petition to encourage the Government to phase out single-use priority items by 2023, rather than 2025 has over 2,000 signatures.
“The phase-out of these items is really only a fraction of the plastic problem. It’s encouraging to see items like plastic straws which have caused the death of many marine specimens finally banned, but there is still so much single-use plastics that needs to be eliminated. Wet wipes and coffee cups, for example, are excluded from this plan despite the significant issues they cause in our waterways and oceans.”
“We understand that introducing new policies can take some time but the plastic pollution crisis requires urgent action. Every day that passes, hundreds of these items will harm our marine life, our ecosystems and our health.”
“We need to act with intention and that means prioritising phasing out all single-use plastic items – especially those that already have alternatives – as soon as possible. The plastic bags ban has already shown that we’re capable of using alternatives to plastic, we just need enforced policy,” adds Lesl van der Voorn.
Our Seas Our Future carries out clean-up events across Aotearoa, collectively diverting thousands of litres of trash away from the marine and coastal environments. Many of the items collected during these events include single-use plastic items, such as, food and beverage packaging, cigarette butts and other plastic items.