Jacinda Ardern Pledges $50 Million To End Plastic Waste In New Zealand
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has pledged $50 million to fund research alternatives for single-use plastic items without current reusable substitutes.
Should Labour win the election, Ardern has promised the party will work to phase out single-use plastics by 2025, banning straws, cutlery, cotton buds and fruit stickers, with exemptions for those with disabilities.
The move will reportedly build upon the country’s existing plastic bag ban, with businesses again being given adequate time to adapt to the new measures. As part of its waste policy, the Labour Party has also pledged to standardise kerbside recycling throughout New Zealand.
The new policy was revealed by Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker at Auckland’s Sustainable Coastlines charity on the morning of September 27.
Ardern stated that 61% of the waste recovered from New Zealand’s beaches was found to be plastic, with Sustainable Coastlines picking up 23,200 plastic straws from beaches in Auckland, the New Zealand Herald reports.
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.
[…] Many business are already using plastic alternatives and it’s likely that by signalling these changes we will see more businesses making the shift.
The $50 million Plastics Innovation Fund would help New Zealand businesses to develop and manufacture alternatives to plastic products, with a focus on single-use and hard-to-recycle items.
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New Zealand Herald