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Ban proposed for single-use plastic items

Issues

Tom Belford14 August 2020

The Government has proposed a ban on seven single-use plastic items: plastic straws, plastic cotton buds, drink stirrers, tableware (plastic plates, cutlery), some single-use cups and lids (but excluding disposable cups), single-use produce bags, and non-compostable produce stickers.

The ban, which would also include PVC and polystyrene, would be staggered, with all bans taking effect by January 2025.

The PVC and polystyrene ban picks up items like meat trays and styrofoam cups and containers.

Greenpeace applauded the proposal, but wanted more, including a ban on plastic drink bottles. Greenpeace has a Ban the Bottle petition drive underway, which has gathered over 35,000 signatures. Campaigner Holly Dove  commented: “An estimated one billion plastic drinks bottles are sold to New Zealanders every year and Coca Cola alone floods NZ with hundreds of millions of plastic bottles annually – the majority of which end up in landfill and the sea.”

Takeaway Throwaways also applauded, but criticised the omission of disposable cups, noting that New Zealanders go through 295 million single-use coffee cups a year.

The proposal is now open for 12 weeks of consultation ending 4 November. You can download the consultation document here.

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Tom Belford14 August 2020

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