New Zealand

Companies put an end to plastic pollution

The announcement was made on World Environment Day in Auckland by Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage.

New Zealand-based Foodstuffs, Countdown, New Zealand Post and Frucor Suntory, and multinationals Amcor, Danone, L'Oreal, Mars, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Unilever and Nestle signed the NZ Plastic Packaging Declaration.

"These companies have drawn a line in the sand, pledging to do their bit to stem the tide of plastic waste and plastic pollution," Sage said.

She said signing the declaration was a significant and important step towards reducing the amount of plastic produced and it helped end plastic pollution.

"I hope more businesses, regardless of size, join the declaration and start working to reduce their waste," Sage said.

Scientists estimate that more than 150 million tonnes of plastics are in the ocean and if nothing changes plastic in oceans will weigh more than fish by 2050.

"We need to move to a circular economy by designing waste out of our economic system and creating and buying products designed to have a long life, which can be easily disassembled so they can reused, recycled or composted."

Sage also announced charity Sustainable Coastlines would get $2.7 million to develop an education programme and a national litter database.

"Sustainable Coastlines is already playing a critical role in mobilising New Zealanders to look after our beaches and rivers.

"Now they can do important work to test the effectiveness of litter interventions, including educational approaches, so we can work out how to best change litter behaviour."

The programme will train "citizen scientists" across the country to input their own data using a standard methodology.

Educators nationwide will be given resources and evaluation tools to educate against littering.

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