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Government waves goodbye to more single-use plastics including polystyrene containers

The New Zealand Government will phase out more single-use plastics, following the success of the single-use bag ban earlier this year.

Source: 1 NEWS

A report titled ‘Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand’ has also been released today which outlines how the Government intends on dealing with waste.

The single-use plastics ban is targeted at containers made of hard-to-recycle PVC and polystyrene like meat trays, cups and takeaway food containers. 

In the report, the government has revealed plans for a $40 million Provincial Growth Fund Investment to turn plastic waste into material for businesses and consumers.

Also in the works is a container return scheme for drink bottles and cans and a National Resource Recovery work programme in response to China and other countries’ bans on importing waste and recyclables. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the ban on plastic bags has already made a difference. 

“Many New Zealanders, including many children, write to me about plastic – concerned with its proliferation over the past decade and the mounting waste ending up in our oceans," says Ms Ardern.

Chicken in polystyrene container. Source: istock.com

Roadside collection of recyclables will also be improved for more consistent collections. 

The move mirrors requests from respondents in a 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll in which eighty-two per cent thought the single-use plastic bag ban that came into force in July, should extend to other single-use plastics.

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Just over 80 per cent for respondents in the 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll were in favour of such a ban. Source: 1 NEWS

Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage says the report reaffirms the governments future plans to reduce waste.

“New Zealanders often tell me how concerned they are about the amount of plastics ending up in our oceans and harming fish, marine mammals, seabirds, and turtles,” said Ms Sage.

“A lot of this plastic waste doesn’t need to be created in the first place."

Ms Sage said a full government response to the report will be confirmed within six months.