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News / Kiwis To Have Their Say On Plan To Reduce Waste

Kiwis To Have Their Say On Plan To Reduce Waste

Kiwis To Have Their Say On Plan To Reduce Waste

Posted October 16, 2021
Environmental

New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation.

New Zealand is one of the highest generators of waste per person in the world. On average, every year each New Zealander sends approximately 750kgs of waste to landfill, and much of this could be recycled, re-processed or reused.

According to Environment Minister David Parker, “In 2019, waste contributed about 4 per cent of Aotearoa New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions and around 9 per cent of its biogenic methane emissions. We can do better, and New Zealanders are demanding change.

“We need to catch up with those countries showing the way, and then move forward.”

David Parker today released the consultation paper “Taking responsibility for our waste”, which seeks feedback on a new national waste strategy that sets a bold new direction for the next three decades.

The proposed strategy seeks to:

· Ensure the data, regulations and strategy are in place for transformational change

· Get resource recovery and recycling systems working well

· Reduce emissions from organic wast

· Stimulate innovation and redesign for long-term change

· Understand the scale and best approach for remediating past damage, and

· Establish long-term information and education programmes

The strategy will also set targets to reduce total waste volumes, methane emissions from waste, and litter by 2030.

Feedback will help shape the final proposals for reform. Once developed, new legislation will replace the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 and Litter Act 1979.

Proposals for the new legislation include building on the duty-of-care model (used in other jurisdictions) to improve how we deal with unwanted material, a national licensing system for the waste management industry, enhancing the existing regulatory tools to encourage change, and how legislation supports product stewardship schemes.

Zero Waste Network says the Government’s Waste Strategy and Legislation consultation paper has missed the opportunity to drive the transition to a circular economy.

Spokesperson Sue Coutts said the approach outlined in the consultation paper still focuses on putting a band-aid on our current recycling and waste management system, and doesn’t feature the big strategic moves needed to shift decision making and investment to the top of the waste hierarchy.

“We need bold strategic direction from the new waste strategy, with te ao Māori as the foundation and the circular economy as our collective goal.”

“Unfortunately the approach in the proposed Waste Strategy won’t get the job done. To be relevant to the challenges we are facing right now we need to focus on Zero Waste strategies, not the same old bottom of the pipe approach we have been using for the last 20 years.”

Greenpeace Aotearoa is calling on the Govt to “cut the crap”, and focus its Waste Strategy on eliminating the source of the plastic waste problem.

Greenpeace Aotearoa plastics campaigner Juressa Lee said the national waste strategy, which opened today for feedback from the public, has to be ambitious and innovative and have a committed focus on getting to the root of the cause of the plastic waste crisis. Lee also says we must minimise waste, not just replace one material for another.

“If the strategy is anything less than this, we will not move closer to fixing the plastic pollution crisis,” says Lee.

Consultation will run for six weeks until 26 November 2021. The consultation document and submission forms are available on the Ministry for the Environment’s website: https://consult.environment.govt.nz/waste/taking-responsibility-for-our-waste/