While New Zealand is considered to be one of the greenest countries in the world, it is currently one of the top ten per-capita producers of landfill waste worldwide. That may soon change, however, thanks to new legislation that will ban most single-use plastics by 2025.
Among the main items targeted are single-use plastics such as cotton buds, bags, cutlery, plates, straws, and fruit packaging. “Every day, New Zealanders throw away an estimated 159g of plastic waste per person, making us some of the highest waste generators in the world,” said David Parker, the environment minister.
The new legislation, which will be rolled out beginning of next year, would “ensure we live up to our clean, green reputation,” said Parker. According to estimates, the ban will divert more than two billion single-use plastic items from the country’s landfills and the environment.
New Zealand already eliminated single-use plastic bags in 2019, but the new law will extend the ban to include packaging for produce, as well as a range of other items, reports The Guardian.
Other countries have taken similar steps, including the UK which banned plastic straws, stirrers, and cotton buds in 2020, and the EU which plans to introduce a similar ban this year. Last month, we also wrote about an agreement, called the ANZPAC Plastic Pact, that will require dozens of major organizations and multinational brands to cut plastic waste across Australia and the Pacific region by 2025.