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Beverage Industry lobbies to kill off waste and climate solution

“The only people benefiting from our broken system of dealing with New Zealand’s 2+ billion drink containers each year is the beverage industry. It is unacceptable that corporate lobbying at the Beehive is holding back a simple container return scheme that is wildly popular with the public and proven to work,” said Marty Hoffart, Chair of the Zero Waste Network Aotearoa.

Recent reporting by Fair Go shows that 80-100% of public place recycling is going to landfill. More than half of all of New Zealand’s beverage containers end up littered or landfilled.

“At the moment we are all paying for a very expensive system which sends recycling to landfill. The public is subsidising the cost for a system that doesn’t work, how does that help with the cost of living?”

“The beverage industry is worried about its profits, and is willing to use its outsized influence to ensure that we can’t get fair and equitable solutions where the industry pays its share.”

Investigative reporting by Guyon Espiner at Radio New Zealand has revealed that, “Documents obtained under the Official Information Act by RNZ show Anacta was lobbying the government on behalf of Asahi and Lion, who feared the scheme would hurt their businesses.”

“People want solutions to waste and climate change – this is one of them. This is exactly the kind of change we need to move towards a circular economy – keeping valuable resources in circulation.”

“A container return scheme (CRS) doesn’t raise the cost of living as people claim back the deposits when they return their containers. This is really about corporate interests trumping a practical and reasonable solution to two major issues we face: waste and climate change.”

Under a mandatory CRS, at least 85% of these containers would be recovered from the litter and waste streams and recycled, with the potential to create hundreds of new businesses, up to 2,400 new jobs and large cost savings for ratepayers and local authorities.

Additionally a CRS would create significant C02 reductions and marked reductions in plastics entering our waterways and oceans.

No other single waste stream could be managed so easily by such a proven method as a mandatory CRS where recycling rates overseas of 85 – 95% are common.

You can read more about Container Return Schemes all over the world here:

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