Plastic Packaging Issues Can’t be Solved by Recycling Alone!
The new report published by The Sustainable Business Network (SBN) states that recycling won’t be sufficient enough to solve all the issues associated with plastic packaging in New Zealand. According to James Griffin, author of the report, tremendous collaboration between all stakeholders could only help the country achieve the goal of 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging latest by 2025.
Many individual businesses and business collaborations have undertaken various actions to reduce plastics, by signing up to the New Zealand government’s Plastic Packaging Declaration and the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The country has already banned use of plastic micro beads in soaps and skin creams. Earlier in August this year, the government had declared its intention to ban single-use plastic bags.
Incidentally, New Zealand faces huge shortage of recycling facilities. Consequently, much of the plastics collected in the country are exported overseas for recycling. As per estimates, New Zealand exported $13.10 million of plastics to outside countries in 2017.
The report recommends a circular economy approach to radically reduce resource loss, particularly into the environment. It calls for concerted efforts from individual businesses, the plastic packaging sector and the government. The recommended efforts include substantial changes to packaging design, development of necessary infrastructure to keep plastic in high value circulation, introduction of emerging technologies and added government support through relevant supporting policies.