Proposals to phase-out more single-use and hard-to-recycle plastics

Following the successful plastic shopping bag ban, the Government is proposing to phase-out more single-use and hard-to-recycle plastic items.

Seven single-use items have been identified for proposed phase-out, as they provide problems to New Zealand’s waste management system, or end up as litter.

The proposed products are:

  • single-use plastic bags
  • tableware (e.g. plastic plates, bowls, cutlery)
  • non-compostable produce stickers
  • drink stirrers
  • some single-use cups and lids
  • plastic cotton buds
  • plastic straws.

The seven items were selected using criteria including environmental harm, sustainable alternatives and international trends.

The Government is also proposing to phase-out all:

  • PVC food and beverage packaging
  • polystyrene food and beverage packaging
  • other expanded polystyrene packaging
  • oxo-degradable plastic products

PVC and polystyrene pose bigger problems for recycling than other plastics, such as PET. In many cases, there are alternative plastics that are easier to recycle.

Submissions close* 5pm on Friday, 4 December 2020

* The public consultation began on 12 August, and was extended by a month following Auckland Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.