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.
Permission: In the interest of promoting debate and wider dissemination, the IGPS encourages use of all or part of the articles appearing in PQ, where there is no element of commercial gain. Appropriate acknowledgement of both author and source should be made in all cases. The IGPS retains copyright. Please direct requests for permission to reprint articles from this publication to firstname.lastname@example.org.