Takeaway packaging among single-use plastics to be banned

Source: 1News

Single-use takeaway packaging, drink stirrers and most plastic trays will be banned from sale or manufacture from tomorrow amid the Government’s promise to phase out problem plastics by 2025.

Polystyrene containers (file image).

It comes after plastic bags were banned by the Government in 2019.

Plastics which will be banned from sale from October 1, 2022, include single-use plastic drink stirrers; single-use plastic cotton buds; polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pre-formed food trays and containers; polystyrene takeaway packaging for food and beverages; expanded polystyrene food and beverage retail packaging, such as foam takeaway containers or some instant noodle cups; and plastics with additives which make them fragment into micro-plastics.

“This is the first group of the most problematic plastic products to be banned in a progressive phase out over the next three years,” Environment Minister David Parker said today in a statement.

“Stopping the sale of these plastic products will reduce waste to landfill, improve our recycling systems and encourage reusable or environmentally responsible alternatives.”

Parker said on average, every New Zealander "sends about 750kgs of waste to landfill" per year.

The banning of the group of plastic single-use products follow recent announcements on Plastics Innovation Fund investments and a cash injection for a product stewardship scheme, he said.

The next group of single-use plastics to be phased out from 2023 include single-use plastic plates, bowls, cutlery, produce bags and non-compostable produce labels.

Other PVC and polystyrene food and beverage packaging will be banned from mid-2025.

The work to minimise problem plastics and waste comes as part of the Cooperation Agreement between Labour and the Green Party.

“The phase out of single use plastic shopping bags was the first step towards an Aotearoa free of plastic pollution. Today’s announcement is further progress in achieving that vision,” Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage said.

“The phase out of plastic shopping bags showed how easily we can make changes at retail and household level to avoid plastic waste and do better for nature.

“We won’t miss these plastic items when they are gone either. With a bit of support and advice, switching to reusable products to replace these unnecessary plastics is easy.”