A joint initiative between the retail sector, the packaging industry and the Government to enable the recycling of soft plastics was launched in Dunedin today.
“The Love NZ Soft Plastics Recycling Programme will be available at 14 New World, Countdown, FreshChoice, PAK’nSAVE and The Warehouse stores in Dunedin. The programme is already running in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, and Canterbury regions,” Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson says.
“This programme has, for the first time, enabled soft plastics and soft packaging such as shopping bags, bread bags, frozen food bags and food wrap to be recycled. Over 215 tonnes of soft plastics have been collected for recycling.
“The objective is for 70 per cent of New Zealanders to have access to a drop-off facility for soft plastics within 20 kilometres of their home. This project provides a great example of how businesses and New Zealanders can make changes every day to divert large amounts of waste from ending up in landfill.”
The $700,000 contribution from the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund is being matched by contributions from retailers and selected brands, bringing the total funding for the project to over $1.6 million. The programme is being run by the Packaging Forum, which was set up to promote the recycling of packaging.
The Waste Minimisation Fund provides financial support to projects that reduce environmental harm and provide social, economic and cultural benefits. It is funded from a levy introduced by the National-led Government in 2009, which is charged on waste disposed of at landfills to discourage waste and to fund recycling initiatives. Over $80 million has been awarded to more than 130 projects to date.
New Zealanders will get access to more ‘open data’, with $7.2 million earmarked for the next three years to speed its release, Statistics Minister Scott Simpson announced today.
“Open data helps businesses, councils, community and charitable groups as well as other data users make faster, better-informed decisions and help solve complex problems. High quality data makes it easier for businesses to innovate and grow,” Mr Simpson says.
“Open data is good for an open democracy. More open data will also help everyone see how their tax dollars are being spent and how effective that spending is.
“The Government is committed to making sure the data we collect is increasingly freely available in easy to use formats. This will help any business, not-for-profit group or individual who wants to use it. Open data is de-identified and does not include personal information such as names or addresses.
‘Examples of how government data is being used more widely include Homes.co.nz online tool to help homeowners search for free property data and global mapping company, HERE Maps, helping to launch self-driving cars around the world.
“Working towards an ‘open by default’ approach in government requires a significant culture change and we continue to invest resources into new ways of working with data.”
New Zealand is one of the early adopters of open data and currently ranks 7th in the world out of 115 countries in the Open Data Barometer.
Open data can also be used to improve how we access healthcare services, discover cures for diseases more efficiently, understand our government better, and help us travel to places more easily. It is crucial to help New Zealand meet its Business Growth Agenda objectives by 2025 and its commitments under the Open Government Partnership. Opening up government data and helping others to use it means a much greater return-on-investment for the data the government collects.
Z Energy are installing new forecourt recycling facilities at 117 of their retail sites with a grant of $218,000 from the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund.
Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced the new initiative today at a pilot forecourt on Highbrook Drive in East Tamaki.
“Z Energy has developed a modular forecourt bin comprised of separate compartments for waste, glass, plastic and cans, and Z compostable coffee cups. The aim is to reduce the amount of waste Z Energy send to landfill by 40 per cent. This project gives both Z Energy staff and customers the opportunity to embrace recycling,” Mr Simpson says.
“Trial bins are being piloted at three Z Energy Sites in Auckland with more to be rolled out around the country later this year.
“Z Energy has made a commitment to promote sustainability by using less and wasting less within their business.
“This project provides a great example of how businesses and New Zealanders can make changes everyday to divert large amounts of waste from ending up in landfill.”
The Waste Minimisation Fund was established in 2009 and is funded by a levy of $10 per tonne charged on waste disposed of at landfills. The fund’s purpose is to boost New Zealand’s performance in waste minimisation, by reducing waste and increasing the recovery of useful resources from waste. Over $80 million has been awarded to more than 130 projects to date.
Further information on the Waste Minimisation Fund is available from: www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/waste/waste-minimisation-fund/index.html.
Government funding of $150,000 will allow the Waikato District Council to implement food waste collection, diversion and composting services in the Raglan community, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today.
Waikato District Council has partnered with Xtreme Zero Waste to deliver the Whaingaroa Organic Waste Diversion to Compost project, which aims to divert around 120 tonnes of waste from landfill each year. Xtreme Zero Waste also operate the weekly kerbside collections and runs the Raglan Resource Recovery Centre.
“I am delighted to announce the Waste Minimisation Fund grant towards this collaborative project and to see the work that has been achieved so far by Waikato District Council and Xtreme Zero Waste,” Mr Simpson says.
“Xtreme Zero Waste is already turning Raglan’s waste into resources and moving towards zero waste, with approximately 75 per cent diversion from landfill. The new food waste collection, diversion and composting service will bring them even closer to the zero waste goal.
“There are many benefits associated with this project that will provide the foundation for this service to be rolled out throughout the district. This is a great example of how local collaboration can create valuable new services that will reduce the amount of organic waste ending up in Waikato landfills.
“I would also like to congratulate Xtreme Zero Waste on being a finalist in the ‘Minimising our waste’ category of the recent 2017 Green Ribbon Awards. To be nominated for a Green Ribbon Award is further evidence of the strength of this project.”
Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson has announced funding of nearly $800,000 for Para Kore Marae to extend their waste minimisation project.
“With funding from the Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) the programme has already been successfully implemented in several regions including Taranaki, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Hauraki, and Ruakawa. So far 171 marae are taking part in the programme, and they have diverted an astonishing 178 tonnes of waste from landfill,” Mr Simpson says.
“Para Kore means Zero Waste, and Para Kore’s vision is for all marae to be working towards zero waste by 2020. The new WMF funding will enable the programme to be implemented in Ruapehu, the Far North, Gisborne, East Coast, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington and Rotorua.
“Para Kore works alongside marae committees to help set-up reuse, recycling and composting systems. Local waste advisors provide education, support and practical tools such as bins and signage to implement Para Kore on marae. Established in 2009, Para Kore Marae Inc is a not-for-profit organisation, and provides its educational programme to marae, free of charge.
“This programme provides a good example of how marae, hapū and iwi can make changes that have the potential to divert large amounts of waste from ending up in landfill and harming Papatūānuku.
“I would also like to congratulate Para Kore on being a finalist in the Kaitiaki Leadership category of the recent 2017 Green Ribbon Awards.”
The WMF was established in 2009 and is funded by a levy of $10 per tonne charged on waste disposed of at landfills. The fund’s purpose is to boost New Zealand’s performance in waste minimisation, by reducing waste and increasing the recovery of useful resources from waste. Over $80 million has been awarded to more than 130 projects to date.
For more information on Para Kore see: http://parakore.maori.nz.
Further information on the Waste Minimisation Fund is available from: www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/waste/waste-minimisation-fund/index.html.
A major new campaign to stop people littering was announced by Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson today.
“Litter is a risk to New Zealand’s clean green brand and the best solution is where everyone responsibly disposes of their waste. That is why the Government is investing $1.7 million in the Litter Less, Recycle More project.”
“The environmental harm from litter is not just the aesthetics but the harm plastic, paper and cans can do our waterways, marine environment and to wildlife.”
The Packaging Forum will install combined litter and recycling bins in public places, which will use smart technology to minimise overflow and reduce collection costs.
The initiative will be complemented by a national awareness and behavioural change programme, bringing together the Love NZ’ brand, and the ‘Be a Tidy Kiwi’ brand. This project will also align with the Keep New Zealand Beautiful ‘Do the Right Thing’ litter initiative announced in February.
“The Litter Less, Recycle More project will build on the Packaging Forum’s successful soft-plastics packaging programme that offers an easy solution for New Zealanders to recycle their soft plastic packaging such as frozen food bags, bread bags and shopping bags at retail outlets.
“Through the Litter Less, Recycle More message New Zealanders will be encouraged to take pride in our country and environment, to Love NZ and to Be a Tidy Kiwi.”
An independent review of public litter and littering interventions in New Zealand will be undertaken by the Sustainable Coastlines Charitable Trust, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today.
“Sustainable Coastlines has been awarded $261,250 from the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund. The Sustainable Coastlines project is a one year investigation that will obtain and review all accessible data on New Zealand coastal litter and existing education interventions and develop two robust and scientifically reputable frameworks and methodologies for analysing litter data and litter interventions. Data from the study will be visualised and published online on the Sustainable Coastlines Website.
“Data is critical for helping us understand the state of our environment and informing where investment and intervention is required. This project is a good step toward building a better picture around the impact of litter.
“Harm from litter is more than just aesthetic, but due to its often light-weight nature, litter travels easily through the environment where it can impact our freshwater, coasts and marine environment.”
Sustainable Coastlines is a charity that coordinates and supports large-scale coastal clean-up events, educational programmes, public awareness campaigns, riparian planting projects and also helps groups to run their own events.
“Caring for our beaches is the responsibility of all New Zealander’s and organisations such as Sustainable Coastlines play an important role in leading and educating the community.”
Colville Bay Harbour Care project in the Coromandel has received $201,420 from the Community Environment Fund, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today
“The Colville Bay Harbour Care project is a great example of how a small community group can contribute to bringing about positive change in the environment,” Mr Simpson said.
“The purpose of the three-year project is to enable the community to better understand and protect Colville Bay and the rivers, streams and wetlands that feed into Colville Bay Harbour.
“There is currently little environmental data available about the freshwater catchment area and harbour, and the project’s first priority is to establish base line data from which to assess its progress.
“The project will undertake community education activities and seeks to engage the community in programmes demonstrating best practice freshwater and coastal management.
“These programmes will include educating and actively involving children from Colville School and Colville Bay Preschool in collecting shellfish population data each year. The project will also develop and distribute an information and advice booklet about weed control to residents and land owners, and hold working bees and ‘swap-weeds-for-trees’ events throughout the course of the project.
“By the end of the three year period, 5km of electric fencing will have been installed to prevent livestock entering the wetlands, rivers and streams that feed the Colville Bay Harbour and at least 20,000 native plants planted to revegetate newly fenced and public areas. There will be signs showcasing information about the biodiversity living in Colville Bay and the estuary.
“Colville located at the northern top of the Coromandel Peninsula represents some of the region’s most iconic biodiversity and natural heritage. It is a very beautiful and spectacular part of the Coromandel and this initiative will greatly enhance local understanding of what can and should be done to ensure it stays that way.”
The Community Environment Fund provides funding so New Zealanders are empowered to take environmental action. The Fund support projects that strengthen partnerships, raise public awareness of environmental issues, and encourage community participation in environmental initiatives. Since 2010 the fund has awarded more than $12 million to environmental projects.
For more information about the Community Environment Fund see http://www.mfe.govt.nz/more/funding/community-environment-fund
Resene has recycled over three million paint containers and found innovative uses for leftover paint, with its PaintWise scheme, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today at Resene’s factory in Lower Hutt.
“Often consumers buy more paint than they need for a project and the leftover paint is stored in sheds and cupboards, or is taken to the local landfill for disposal. Resene PaintWise provides New Zealanders with an environmentally responsible way of disposing of their waste paint,” Mr Simpson says.
Resene PaintWise accepts all brands of paint and paint containers and finds alternative uses for them. These include recycling paint in concrete manufacture, recycling paint containers, donating good quality paint to community group projects and using waste paint to cover graffiti. Over 250,000 litres has been donated to communities to cover graffiti which equals over two million square metres of graffiti to be covered with the help of the scheme so far.
“It’s great to see New Zealand business taking up the challenge of reducing their products’ environmental impacts. Resene PaintWise was the first whole-life-cycle paint recycling programme in the world.”
“Resene is an excellent example of an organisation taking responsibility for waste in its industry. I encourage other organisations and industries to get accredited so they too can receive the economic and environmental benefits of product stewardship.”
“Under the Waste Minimisation Act, I can accredit product stewardship schemes that meet the criteria for reducing waste and environmental harm. A product stewardship scheme will only be accredited after it has been thoroughly assessed to ensure accreditation criteria have been met. In turn, accredited schemes have to report annually me on their objectives and targets.”
For more information about product stewardship see http://www.mfe.govt.nz/waste/product-stewardship
For more information about Resene PaintWise and where to recycle paint and paint containers see http://www.resene.co.nz/paintwise.php