The beginning of a new, more responsible approach to plastic use

A new responsible approach to plastic use

A year from now, single-use plastic bags will be gone from New Zealand. That’s the government’s plan and we’re really happy it’s happening.

Plastic is an incredibly useful product, provided it gets put into a circular lifestyle. And when its been used for its purpose, it should be collected, washed and recycled. We don’t want plastic in our landfill and we certainly don’t want it floating around our oceans.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced on 10 August 2018 the phasing out of single-use plastic bags.

“Every year in New Zealand we use hundreds of millions of single-use plastic bags – a mountain of bags, many of which end up polluting our precious coastal and marine environments and cause serious harm to all kinds of marine life”, said the PM.

Earlier this year, more than 65,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling for a ban on plastic bags, and school children have been persistently writing to the government, calling for action on plastic waste. Forest and Bird have also been campaigning for the reduction of plastic in our lives.

At the same time as our PM announced the phasing out of single-use plastic bags, she said that New Zealand needs to get smarter in the way we manage waste.

Approximately 252,000 tonnes of plastic waste is taken to NZ landfills each year (based on 8% of 3,156 million tonnes of waste), much of this is packaging from imported goods.

Did you know?

  • New Zealand is one of the highest producers of rubbish in the developed world, per capita
  • New research shows plastic makes up 78% of waste on New Zealand beaches
  • If the world carries on with its current waste habits, by 2050 there will be more pieces of plastic in the oceans than fish
  • On Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea, seabird chicks are starving to death because their parents are feeding them plastic
  • One in every three turtles found dead on our coast has died or is sick from eating plastic
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