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News / Plan to tackle problem plastics and seven single-use plastic items announced

Plan to tackle problem plastics and seven single-use plastic items announced

Plan to tackle problem plastics and seven single-use plastic items announced

Posted August 13, 2020
Environmental

Following the success of the phase out of single-use plastic shopping bags, the Government now has plans to phase out more single-use and problem plastics to reduce waste and protect the environment.

The proposals are to phase-out:
• some hard-to-recycle PVC and polystyrene packaging and oxo-degradable plastic products
• seven single-use plastic items, including plastic straws, drink stirrers, produce bags, tableware (e.g. plastic plates, bowls, cutlery) and non-compostable fruit stickers.

These proposals are part of a consultation document ‘Reducing the impact of plastic on our environment’ launched yesterday.

The proposals include provision for people who need straws due to a disability, so that they can still access them.

“Plastic has become one of our generation’s greatest environmental challenges,” said Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage.

“The level of plastic pollution in the oceans is unacceptable. It is distressing that birds, fish, whales and other marine mammals die from eating plastic which did not need to be made in the first place. Phasing out hard to recycle and single use plastics helps reduce plastic waste and pollution and will improve our recycling system.

“Government is taking a leadership role in setting a clear direction and providing certainty for industry and the public on managing and minimising plastic waste.

“To reduce marine pollution and waste to landfill we can identify what plastic products we really need, phase out unnecessary and unrecyclable plastics, and ensure others are designed and made so that we can recover and reuse the materials in them.

“New Zealanders want urgent change in the area of plastics. We saw that with the support for banning single use plastic bags, which has meant 1.1 billion fewer plastic bags ending up in landfills or the ocean.

“I am confident that as a country we can tackle the challenges around problem plastics,” said Eugenie Sage.