Pure Tour: Action on plastic pollution

In February this year, world experts on plastic pollution and marine debris will be touring the North Island as a part of the PURE Tour, engaging with communities, NGOs, scientists and government, to share what they have learned about the global problem of plastic pollution.

Anna Cummins and Marcus Eriksen are the founders of the 5 Gyres Institute, and alongside Algalita, Marine Research and Education they have been at the forefront of the scientific research on ocean plastic pollution. In 2017 Algalita tracked a South Pacific Plastic Patch some 2.6 million square kilometres in size (that’s over 9 times the land mass of Aotearoa New Zealand) – and importantly, identified a significant amount of waste from Aotearoa New Zealand origins.

As we edge closer to the tipping point globally we can no longer deny that all nations need to take significant steps towards addressing the issue of plastic pollution. It is time for Aotearoa New Zealand to have a conversation on the steps we are taking.

The PURE Tour will facilitate this conversation with the overall aim to a call upon our government to:

– Finally ban single use plastic bags in 2018
– Prioritize a national strategy for plastic waste reduction
– Invest in research on plastic contamination in Aotearoa

How can you be involved?
We are looking for contributors to our discussion during our day time workshop February 4th, 12-4.30pm @ Sustainable Coastlines Flagship Education Hub, 35 Madden St, Auckland, so please contact us to let us know if you are available too and would like to attend.

In the evening on the 4th, also being held at the Sustainable Coastlines Flagship Education Hub from 6.30-8pm there will be a wine & cheese event as the launch party of the tour, where Marcus Eriksen will speak and it will be an opportunity for people to network and discuss the solutions we are striving to see for Aotearoa.

We will also be holding events in Raglan, Napier and Wellington. Spaces are limited to ALL so please contact Raquelle De Vine at raquelle@algalita.org or Tina Ngata at tinangata@gmail.com to express your interest.

To stay up to date on the tour and the other upcoming events like and follow the Facebook page :

Press release: Government policy changes and action needed to enable effective waste management

Government policy changes and action needed to enable effective waste management

22 January 2018

From: WasteMINZ Territorial Authority (TA) Forum


Local Government is calling on Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage to make key changes, which will allow central and local government to work together effectively to achieve the government’s goal of minimising waste to landfill with significant reductions in all waste classes.

A newly developed Local Government Waste Manifesto, released today, highlights that waste is a significant issue for local government to deal with. However, a lack of supporting Government policy and action has constrained councils’ ability to address waste issues effectively.

The Local Government Waste Manifesto was developed by the WasteMINZ TA Forum which is comprised of waste officers from 64 city and district councils from around New Zealand.

Parul Sood, Waste Planning Manager at Auckland Council and Chair of the TA Forum said the manifesto sets out the waste management actions which the forum considers the Government should prioritise.

“These actions will enable real reductions in waste to landfill and reduce the costs borne by councils and their communities,” said Sood.

The manifesto has five key elements:

  1. Review the New Zealand Waste Strategy to set a clear programme for action
  2. Expand the Waste Disposal Levy and progressively raise the levy to reduce waste to landfill
  3. Officially adopt the National Waste Data Framework to enable better planning and monitoring
  4. Introduce a Container Deposit Scheme to lift recycling rates and reduce litter and marine pollution
  5. Declare tyres, e-waste and, agrichemicals and plastics as priority products


Why recycling and waste reduction matters:

Donna Peterson, Senior Waste Officer for WasteNet Southland, said that waste represents a huge opportunity for New Zealand, which we are yet to take advantage of.

“Waste is the result of an unsustainable, linear use of materials. Taking action on waste can drive transformation back up the value chain and bring about significant positive changes throughout the economy, and ultimately move us towards a more circular model,” said Peterson.

The manifesto states that reducing waste and making full use of the value of materials will lead to the following positive outcomes for New Zealand:

  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  • More efficient industries and services
  • Improved soil quality and the need to use less fertilisers
  • A reduced reliance on importing materials
  • An increase in economic activity and jobs
  • Reduced environmental and marine impacts

The priorities set out in the manifesto are only some of the areas that the Government can take action on to reduce waste, but they are ones that the TA Forum considers will have the most impact in setting New Zealand on the right path.

“There are of course other waste issues which are of importance to councils,” said Sood.

“In particular single-use plastic bags, where the TA Forum has led research and supported campaign activities advocating for change. Issues like this, while not part of our manifesto, are still vitally important to our communities and part of New Zealand’s transition towards a circular economy.”

The TA Forum are pleased to see that Minister Sage has already asked officials to look into a compulsory product stewardship scheme for e-waste, as this waste stream is addressed in the manifesto.


The full manifesto can be read here: http://bit.ly/LocalGovernmentWasteManifesto


 Spokesperson for comment:

 Parul Sood, Waste Planning Manager, Auckland Council and Chair of the WasteMINZ TA Forum. To speak to Parul, please contact Sam Baxter, Auckland Council Media Specialist


WasteMINZ contact:

 Paul Evans, Chief Executive, WasteMINZ


About WasteMINZ: WasteMINZ (www.wasteminz.org.nz) is the largest representative body of the waste, resource recovery and contaminated land sectors in New Zealand. Formed in 1989 it is a membership-based organisation with over 1,000 members – from small operators through to councils and large companies.

WasteMINZ is the authoritative voice on waste, resource recovery and contaminated land in New Zealand and seeks to achieve ongoing and positive development of the industry through strengthening relationships, facilitating collaboration, knowledge sharing and championing the implementation of best practice standards.

About the TA Forum: The TA Forum is an officer led Sector Group of WasteMINZ. It is made up of 64 city and district councils from around New Zealand. The TA Forum was established to create consistency and efficiency amongst territorial authorities through sharing knowledge and best practice.

Awards galore

A massive congratulations to our award-winning friends and Zero Waste Network members in the sector this month. It’s so good to see hard work and good people getting recognition.

WasteMINZ won the Communicating Sustainability category at the Sustainable Business Network Awards for their Love Food Hate Waste Campaign.

Global Action Plan Oceania and Reclaim were also finalists in the Going Circular category.

And Auckland Council took out the Cities4ZeroWaste Award, at the C40 City Awards in Chicago. The awards highlight projects that represent the most ambitious and innovative efforts by cities towards sustainability.

CDS explainer

CDS. We here at the Zero Waste Network throw around these three letters all the time, but its important to remember not everyone knows what we’re talking about (Container Deposit Systems) or why it’s a good idea (increased recovery), let alone how it would work. Thankfully we know some awesome people who are super good at explaining it and have made a great little video doing just that. Gina and Waveney, you guys rule!

The case for CDS is getting stronger

Auckland Council has commissioned a cost-benefit analysis on the economic impacts of implementing a container deposit system in New Zealand.

The report finds:

  • That the benefits of a container deposit scheme are three to six times greater than the costs, with a national benefit between $184 million and $685 million over ten years.
  • That it would boost recycling rates from current rates of 45 to 58 per cent, to between 79 and 82 per cent.

The WasteMINZ Territorial Authority forum has written a summary report which we recommend you having a read of and discussing with any of your council contacts, or your local MP.