28 February 2024

NZ bids good-bye to more single-use plastics from today

Single-use plastic cotton buds, drink stirrers and most plastic meat trays are among several problematic single use plastics banned from sale or manufacture from today, 1 October 2022 in New Zealand.

Plastics that are banned from today are single-use plastic drink stirrers and plastic cotton buds; PVC pre-formed food trays and containers used for meat/meat products and baked goods; Polystyrene takeaway packaging for food and beverages; Expanded polystyrene food and beverage retail packaging (such as foam takeaway containers or some instant noodle cups) and plastics with additives that make them fragment into micro-plastics.

Ban on plastic
More single-use plastics are banned from today

“On average, every year each New Zealander sends about 750kgs of waste to landfill. Some products can’t be recycled and are unnecessary,” Environment Minister David Parker said.

“These are the first group of plastic products to be banned since the ban on single-use plastic bags in 2019. That has meant more than one billion fewer plastic bags have ended up in landfills or the ocean,” Parker added.

In mid-2023, the next group of single-use plastics to be phased out will include single use plastic plates, bowls, cutlery, single-use plastic produce bags and non-compostable produce labelsOther PVC and polystyrene food and beverage packaging will be banned from mid-2025.

Green Party has welcomed this move as it was a ‘further progress’ in making New Zealand free of plastic pollution.

Under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 the definition of ‘sold’ includes giving products away for free. Businesses with excess stock of these items on 1 October may use them internally or dispose them to landfill. But it would be a breach of the law to sell or give them to customers or any other person.

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