The Global Plastic Pollution Crisis
how should New Zealand respond?
Keywords:plastic waste, New Zealand, product stewardship, plastic pollution treaty, waste hierarchy, Basel convention, Waste Minimisation Act 2008
The management of plastic waste is a global problem which currently lacks a global solution. As one of the highest per capita producers of household waste in the developed world, New Zealand has a key role to play in addressing the plastics crisis at multiple levels of governance. This article analyses the various policy options available to the New Zealand government and offers a series of recommendations, including prioritising policy and investment at the top of the waste hierarchy (refuse, rethink, redesign, reduce and reuse); linking plastic waste to toxicological risk and commitments to carbon reduction targets; implementing global commitments domestically; and supporting a proposed international legally binding agreement that captures the full lifecycle of plastics and regulates the transboundary flows of plastic pollution.
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