Community Recycling Network Press Release – 27th August 2017

Network Backs Better Bottle Refund Scheme

One of New Zealand’s favourite waste-slashing schemes has been yanked from the history books by forward-thinking politicians.

Community recycling groups today welcomed the Green Party’s new policy on plastic bags and bottles, which promises to address the plastic waste currently causing environmental havoc.

The political party has promised to bring back an enhanced version of the container deposit scheme that was popular in New Zealand for decades, where empty bottles could be traded for cash.

“It’s great to see the Greens have the guts to tackle the plastic that’s choking our waterways, marine animals and streets,” says Community Recycling Network (CRN) chairman Marty Hoffart. “Finally, someone is listening.”

Mr Hoffart, who represents a national network of community groups, says communities need better legislation to support the waste-reduction work they do.

“We all know discarded bottles and single-use plastic bags are a scourge,” he says. “They damage our marine and coastal ecosystems, endanger human health and cost us a fortune to clean up.”

Currently, New Zealanders discard two billion beverage containers a year and less than 40% are recycled. Meanwhile, bottle deposit schemes in Canada, Australia, most of Europe and much of the United States routinely capture around 85%. The schemes also spark new businesses and would inject an estimated $45 million into the economy, according to a recent Envision NZ report. “Aside from the obvious environmental benefits, a bottle deposit scheme would create about 2,400 jobs and fundraising opportunities for community groups.”

Mr Hoffart also applauds the Green Party’s plan to introduce a 20c levy on single use plastic bags, and then phase them out over three years. “Until there is a charge at every supermarket and shop, we won’t make a dent in the 1.6 billion bags given out for free every year.”

For more information:

Contact Marty Hoffart Chairman, Community Recycling Network Ph: 027 230 2256