It’s time to take out the trash | The Jackal

20 Jul 2017

It’s time to take out the trash

The National party might pretend that they care about the environment, but they don’t. Instead it’s treated like an unlimited resource or throwaway item.

Instead of just being used to falsely advertise people into travelling here to drink polluted water, New Zealand's environment must be protected from ignorant politicians and polluting industries. We must ensure that there is a world worth inheriting left for the generations to come.

One way to do that is to reduce and recycle as much rubbish as we can, instead of just shipping it off to China.

Yesterday, Newshub reported:

Kiwis need new way to clean up as China closes dumps

China no longer wants to be the world's rubbish dump, announcing it will ban the import of 24 kinds of waste, including some plastics, metals and materials, by the end of the year.

The recycling industry in New Zealand says it should spark a rethink on what we throw out.

"This is not something that's going to happen overnight, it's not the wholesale closure of one market, but certainly it does start to make us think we are very reliant on one market and say, 'How do we stop producing this waste in the first place?'," Waste Management Institute's Paul Evans told Newshub.

We obviously have issues of scale in New Zealand meaning government intervention is required to ensure we reduce and recycle our waste.

"In New Zealand, there is a challenge around scale in the products we create and also these products require significant investment," Mr Evans said.

Waste management company Environ NZ is planning a plastics recycling plant for Canterbury and it says the Chinese decision could help its business case.

But the Greens say there's a better way.

"What we could be doing is reducing the amount of waste that we make, and that means taking a really hard line about unnecessary packaging," Green MP Denise Roche told Newshub.

Unfortunately National won’t sort the worsening rubbish problem in New Zealand. They prefer to just leave such things in the too hard basket or put everything in a landfill or burn it. The environment will always play second fiddle to vested business interests under a government led by Bill English.

But Kiwis aren't getting that message. Instead, it's just the opposite.

We send about 3.7 million tonnes of waste to landfills a year - 16 percent more than three years ago - and less than 6 percent of that was recycled.

Each New Zealander produces 3.2 tonnes of rubbish a year and less than 30 percent is recycled.

With China saying we don't want your trash, Kiwis will have to find a way to clean up their own mess.

The National party have proven themselves unreliable at organising even basic waste management programs. Just look at Nick Smith’s procrastination over the used tyres problem for instance. The environment will pay the price if there's no change in government come September 24.