New Zealand will end the use of single-use plastic: bans will be phased in from 2022 to 2025.
Every day, New Zealanders emit approximately 159 grams of plastic waste per person, one of the highest rates in the world, says New Zealand Environment Minister David Parker.
New Zealand is currently among the top ten countries in terms of the amount of waste generated. Therefore, local authorities have announced a ban on a number of single-use plastics, including cotton swabs, bags, cutlery, plates, straws and fruit labels.
New Zealand has already banned most types of single-use plastic bags in 2019, but new restrictions will also cover food packaging and a number of other goods.
The new bans were an important step, but still have not affected most of New Zealand’s largest plastic waste producers, said Terry-Ann Berry, assistant professor and director of the Unitec Environmental Solutions Research Center.
She added that raising public awareness of the issue of household waste is vital, but it is important to emphasize the responsibility of the commercial sectors in this matter. For example, construction and demolition accounts for up to 50% of landfill waste in New Zealand.