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Welcoming in Plastic-Free July with new plastic phase outs

Single use plastic bottle beach

“As Plastic Free July kicks off, we welcome the introduction of bans on single use plastic items including plastic produce bags, fruit stickers, plastic cutlery, plates and bowls,” said Dorte Wray, General Manager of the Zero Waste Network Aotearoa.

“The Ministry for the Environment has an ambitious waste minimisation work programme that is taking us in the right direction. This is how the Waste Minimisation Act was intended to be used. We want to see more of this and faster.”

“People are going to start seeing this straight away in their weekly takeaways and at the supermarket. Achieving zero waste requires a combination of system-wide solutions and individual behaviour change.”

“System-level solutions that move us up the waste hierarchy include creating reuse and refill infrastructure, legal requirements to design waste out of production processes, and a sinking lid on all plastic production. There are already some innovative businesses and social enterprises working to create food service systems that eliminate the need for single use. These need to be more widely adopted and directly supported by the government. They have the resources to create comprehensive nationwide systems and mandate their use.”

“At the same time, all of us can take small steps to reduce plastic consumption which is what the Plastic Free July challenge is all about. There are many easy swaps and tweaks you can make to get plastic out of your life.”

“The size and scale of plastic pollution has reached a crisis point. Dealing with it is a major concern for New Zealanders. There has been some good progress in the past five years that must now be accelerated, alongside the push for an ambitious global agreement to end plastic pollution being negotiated by the UN. Our beaches, oceans, waterways, soil, air, drinking water and human health are all under threat of extensive plastic pollution. There has never been a better time to go plastic free.”

A new study from Zero Waste Europe and Searious Business demonstrates that reusable packaging is an economically viable alternative to single-use packaging when certain conditions are met.

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