Plastics NZ, the industry association representing New Zealand’s plastics manufacturers and resin suppliers, welcomes the release of the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand report from the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Professor Juliet Gerrard. The recommendations in the report can be summed up in one phrase; ‘make best practice standard practice’. “The report provides recommendations for improving New Zealand’s recycling system and to transition to a low emissions circular economy. We fully agree with the need for a National Plastics Action Plan and look forward to working with Government and those in the Industry to implement relevant changes”, says CEO of Plastics NZ, Rachel Barker.

Led by Dr Rachel Chiaroni-Clarke, the report sums up an in-depth analysis and broad consultation around New Zealand’s use of plastics, the challenges, and the opportunities involved in resolving our waste issues. It covers all aspects from consumption and product design through to end-of-life challenges and potential options for improving our local systems. During the launch Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced intentions to implement a recommended phase-out of single-use packaging and beverage containers made of PVC and polystyrene. These materials are hard-to-recycle in New Zealand due to their relatively low volumes and can generally be made from the more easily recyclable plastics.

“Changing materials will require research and development by the manufacturers and brand-owners. It’s very hard to predict the time and costs involved due to the wide range of packaging applications. The NZ plastics industry is well placed to face this challenge and many companies have already started on the journey to change. The amount of collaborative work across the plastics and resource recovery sectors shows great promise for resolving New Zealand’s plastic waste issues ” says Barker.

Plastics NZ is the industry association providing a voice for its Members and supporting New Zealand’s plastics manufacturers, suppliers and brand owners to maximise their success in an environmentally, socially and economically responsible manner.