The way we create and manage waste in Aotearoa New Zealand is not sustainable. Most of the materials we use are disposed of to landfill and the rate of disposal is increasing. These practices have contributed to making us one of the highest generators of waste per person in the world. In 2018, municipal landfills received around 3.7 million tonnes of waste. Around 750 kilograms for every New Zealander. The government has already taken some steps to tackle these challenges, like banning single-use plastic bags and other items, but we need to do more.
The Waste reduction work programme sets out the work the government is doing to reduce waste under five main objectives:
- Building the foundations for a transformed waste system
- Expanding investment in the sector
- Introducing system-level change
- Addressing individual material streams and products
- Strengthening operational and compliance activity
The Ministry for the Environment will lead this work.
Over the next few months, you will be able to have your say on several waste initiatives including the proposed new national strategy for waste, updated waste legislation and product stewardship on tyres and large batteries. There are more details in the waste reduction work programme.
Keep an eye on our channels and website over the next few months to find out more.