New report on plastics- In the News

A new report states New Zealand requires an unprecedented effort to reduce plastic use as reliance on recycling must end soon. 

The Sustainable Business Network’s Circular Economy Accelerator (CEA) released a report this month, which includes the first study on plastic packaging systems in New Zealand. The report suggests large-scale collaboration between businesses and industries is needed to create an effective change in New Zealand’s consumption of plastics. It followed the lifespans of plastic from ten different New Zealand companies.

James Griffen, head of the CEA, told Radio NZ that as a country we need to “turn off the tap in terms of the pollution and it’s quite easy for people to think that recycling is going to solve all our problems, but it won’t”. 

Griffen also told 1News that public momentum surrounding the issue with plastics has increased with the recent plan to ban single-use plastic bags.

Ecostore, one of the ten companies in the report, has been making changes to reduce customer consumption of plastics.“I think one of the biggest challenges we face is changing consumer behaviour,” managing director Pablo Kraus told Stuff. Kraus said the company was working on implementing refill stations to allow consumers to reuse their original containers. 

Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage told the NZ Herald that some of the recommendations were already being adopted by different groups, “manufacturers, retailers, the resource recovery sector, councils and consumers all have key roles to play and Government leadership is required”.

“We need manufacturers to be doing much more, faster and manufacturers, retailers and consumers to drive change up the supply chain,” said Sage. 

Coverage of the report includes: 

RadioNZ: Disposal of plastic waste needs urgent rethink- report
Stuff: Recycling is not enough to get rid of plastic waste: report
1News: Disposal of plastic waste needs urgent rethink- report
NZ Herald: Is this how we solve NZ’s growing plastic problem? 
Newshub: Recycling won’t be enough to save NZ from plastic plague- report
Stuff: What you need to know about the circular economy