Single-use and hard to recycle plastics to be phased out by 2025 under Labour

By Te Ao - Māori News
Photo / File

Labour will phase out single-use and hard to recycle plastics, such as polystyrene packaging, cotton buds and some cups, by 2025, Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has said in a statement today. 

A $50 million fund is to be established to assist businesses develop alternatives here in NZ with a view to creating opportunities for domestic manufacturing.

The initiative is a further move toward removing plastic rubbish from our oceans and environment, Ardern said.

“Getting rid of plastics is one of the main topics children write to me about, so this policy is about ensuring we uphold our clean green image, reduce waste in our environment and create a future our children can be proud of."  

A ban on single-use plastic bags was introduced in July 2019 during the party's first term in government. This is estimated to have removed more than one billion bags from the environment, Ardern said. 

“By 2025 we will phase out single use and hard to recycle plastic items such as drink stirrers, cutlery, some cups and lids, produce bags, straws (with an exemption for those with disabilities), cotton buds and stickers on produce, such as those on individual fruit items."

Labour will launch a $50 million fund to help businesses develop and manufacture non-plastic alternatives.

“This fund would provide grants and loans to researchers or companies who can rethink the plastic products we use in our daily lives and provide more sustainable, affordable options to them,” Environment spokesperson David Parker also said in the statement.

“Stepping up our action against waste and developing non-plastic alternatives can also create jobs and support manufacturing here in New Zealand while safeguarding our reputation and protecting our environment from the plastic waste that blights our landscape and can kill our seabirds and marine life," Parker said.