Tackling problem plastics - last chance to have your say 

Date:  01 December 2020

Submissions close this Friday (4 December) on proposals to phase-out more single-use and hard-to-recycle plastics

Ministry for Environment is reminding New Zealanders that the four-month public consultation on proposals to phase-out more single-use and hard-to-recycle plastics ends this Friday, 4 December. 

Ministry for the Environment Deputy Secretary Sam Buckle said more than 5000 submissions had been received so far. 

“We’re pleased people are keen to share their thoughts and any specific impacts on them and their whānau.

“The majority of submissions have been made via email and our new online tool, Citizen Space, is also proving popular – it’s easy to use, and you can let us know what you think without having to get too deep into the detail. 

“We know New Zealanders care about our environment, so we’re keen to hear from as many kiwis as possible on how we best tackle the challenges we have with plastics,” said Sam Buckle.

Making a submission is easy:

1.    Online (substantial submission or short version
2.    Email: plastics.consultation@mfe.govt.nz
3.    Post to: Plastics Consultation 
                    Ministry for the Environment
                    PO Box 10362
                    Wellington 6143

The proposed new plastic phase-out follows last year’s successful plastic shopping bag ban. 

Seven single-use products have been identified for proposed phase-out, as they provide problems to New Zealand’s waste management system or end up as litter. 

The proposed products are:
•    single-use plastic produce bags
•    tableware (e.g. plastic plates, bowls, cutlery)
•    non-compostable produce stickers
•    drink stirrers
•    some single-use cups and lids 
•    plastic cotton buds
•    plastic straws

The seven items were selected using criteria including environmental harm, availability of sustainable alternatives and international trends. 

The Government is also proposing to phase-out all:
•    PVC food and beverage packaging
•    polystyrene food and beverage packaging
•    other expanded polystyrene packaging
•    oxo-degradable plastic products

PVC and polystyrene are being targeted because they are a bigger problem for recycling than other plastics, such as PET. In many cases, there are alternative plastics that are easier to recycle. 

Submissions close* 5pm on Friday, 4 December 2020

*The public consultation began on 12 August and was extended by a month following Auckland Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. 

Note to editors

Link to the previous media statement: please click here.

For media enquiries 

Please phone 027 231 6930

Email media@mfe.govt.nz