Te Ohu Kaimoana supports the phase-out of plastics for the health of Tangaroa

21 August 2020

Te Ohu Kaimoana welcomes the ‘Reducing the Impact of Plastic on Our Environment’ proposal released this week by Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage.

“The level of plastic pollution in the oceans is unacceptable,”says Sage. “It is distressing that birds, fish, whales and other marine mammals die from eating plastic which did not need to be made in the first place.”

“To reduce marine pollution and waste to landfill we can identify what plastic products we really need, phase out unnecessary and unrecyclable plastics, and ensure others are designed and made so that we can recover and reuse the materials in them.”

The consultation will be open for 12 weeks until November 4, and all phase-outs are proposed to come into force by January 2025 with some phase-outs to happen earlier depending on the type of packaging or item.

Phase-outs by 2023:

  • Some polystyrene food and beverage packaging will be phased out.
  • All PVC food and beverage packaging – Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is considered the most environmentally damaging plastic because disposal results in the release of toxic, chlorine-based chemicals.
  • All oxo-degradable plastic products – plastics that fragment into smaller pieces, called micro-plastics, that don’t break down like biodegradable and compostable plastics.

Phase-outs by 2025:

  • All remaining polystyrene food and beverage packaging will be phased out.
  • All other polystyrene packaging used in homeware and electronics will be phased out.