Signing up to the United Nations (UN) Clean Seas campaign means little for New Zealand without accurate data, National’s Environment Spokesperson Scott Simpson says.
“We know there’s too much plastic litter in our huge marine environment but we really have no idea how much there is or where it comes from.
“New Zealand has stewardship of the fourth largest marine space on the globe but it's unlikely the bulk of plastic in there actually comes from New Zealand.
“I’ve asked Parliament’s Environment Select Committee to conduct an Inquiry into marine litter in our Exclusive Economic Zone and I hope the Government will support it.
“Ministry for the Environment officials have said there is a lack of data regarding the extent to which New Zealand contributes to global plastic pollution via land and marine sources.
“Signing a feel good UN campaign is meaningless virtue signalling without accurate data about the problem. We all want to have less plastic waste in our ocean but if we are serious about reducing it we need to have a much better idea about what type of plastic it is, where it comes from, and in what quantity,” Mr Simpson says.