We are in the middle of a plastic crisis. The average person eats a credit card worth of plastic weekly. If we don’t move quickly to a plastic-free culture, our plastic addiction will kill us and our environment. We want NZ to lead the way, instead of just muddling along as we’ve been doing hoping the problem would just ‘go away’. Plastic creates an external cost (externalities) that are just too high, business makes the profit and society and the environment pay the real costs. Great innovations have been made and ignored by our leaders. The Outdoors Party will make sure these plastic alternative innovations are central to solving our plastic problem.
6th September 2020 this policy and associated documents are copyright September 2020 NZ Outdoors Party.
Aims for plastic free New Zealand
- Phase out petroleum based plastics for packaging and foodstuffs
- Replace with innovative natural fibres
- Phase out polystyrene and replace with biodegradable polystyrene (already have the technology and the patent here in NZ)
- Clean up New Zealand by removing existing plastics in the environment
- No more shipping waste plastic to Asia to be burnt or disposed of in poverty stricken areas.
- Clean up the South Pacific by removing plastics in the region. Where plastics must be used or reclaimed, dispose of these by recycling and converting plastics to fuel, rather than going into the sea and landfills (creating micro plastics). Support our South Pacific neighbours by leading the way and sharing knowledge, technology and practical solutions.
Short terms Actions and Interim measures
- Fund improvements in all councils for worlds best practise efficient recycling systems (not just the cheapest) including
- Loop Recycling: simply returning recyclables back to the supplier. For most of us, the bulk of our recyclable materials come from the supermarket. When we next go shopping it will be easy to return already sorted clean plastics, tin and aluminium back to the collection bins in the supermarket.
- Container deposit scheme to encourage recycling and prevent littering.
- Retrain Kiwis to stop littering
- Train Kiwis how to recycle properly, and make it fun by using bins that reward you for your recycling
- Support measures NZ-wide such as Kate Meads “Waste-Free Living” teaching kiwis how to reduce/eliminate plastic in their homes and work.
- Only recyclable plastics imported and used in NZ.
- Plastic waste to fuel management system (last resort)
- Support local communities with rubbish bags and skips for when they pick up rubbish up from their local roads
- Water testing of storm water and wastewater for micro plastics and to identify pollution sources.
- Complete ban on microplastic producing substances.
- Install sump catching sieves on waste water sumps wherever possible
Removal of plastic from the environment
Task Ministry for the Environment/Environmental Protection Agency to oversee the removal of plastic within the environment to:
- Impose penalties on polluters
- Investigate different industries, how and where to reduce/eliminate waste
- Monitor councils’ performance in relation to plastic recycling, removal and processing
- Support technology to turn plastic into fuel
- Identify all historic tip sites and work with local councils to remove existing plastic.
- Work with other pacific nations to eliminate plastics in the south pacific region.
Government funding to investigate and support plastic alternatives
- Fund R&D into alternatives and then make sure they are actually utilised instead of shelved and ignored.
- Encourage the manufacture of products made with natural fibres.
- Promote the use and production of paper and other natural products instead of plastic.
- Use natural products for food packaging
Remove Plastic in the Pacific
- Work with our trading partners to finance the removal of plastic in the pacific region.
- Use half the one billion dollars ear-marked for the Pacific Development Fund to kick start this project.
- Put a bounty per tonne of plastic collected.
- Set up recycling plants turning plastic into fuel
- Use trawling technologies, barges and plastic traps to rid the ocean of plastic.
Food and Organic Waste
- must no longer go to landfill to create methane and other toxins
- Invest in home and public area (schools, parks and sports grounds) rat-proof composting systems
- to create compost to be used in home and council gardens to build soils and nutrients
- simple composting education for everyone so kiwis understand why to compost instead of waste
- obligatory green and food ‘waste’ composting systems at land fill