From Lines to Circles: reshaping waste policy


  • Hannah Blumhardt University of Waikato
  • Liam Prince



Zero waste, Circular economy, Bioeconomy, Waste, Climate


The impacts of waste transcend landfills and litter; emissions and pollution occur at every stage of the linear ‘take–make–waste’ economy. Zero waste and circular economy theories offer systemic perspectives and practical solutions. The New Zealand government has committed to a circular economy vision for Aotearoa. Given New Zealand’s ‘rubbish record on waste’, the social and economic transformation required will take extraordinary collaboration and a common direction of travel. This article diagnoses the extent of global waste problems, the circular pathways forward, and New Zealand’s early steps along them. With the government re-oriented to act, we urge an ambitious, joined-up approach that avoids locking in inadequate responses to existential threats.


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Author Biographies

Hannah Blumhardt, University of Waikato

Hannah Blumhardt is a researcher for Āmiomio Aotearoa, a trans-disciplinary, multi-partner research project into the circular economy hosted by the University of Waikato, and a researcher at the Zero Waste Network.

Liam Prince

Liam Prince is a researcher for the Zero Waste Network, compost manager at Kaicycle and chair of the Aotearoa Plastic Pollution Alliance.