Hard to Recycle Government Submission: All You Need To Know!

Hard to Recycle Government Submission: All You Need To Know!

Individuals. Government. Businesses.

These three groups are the parties responsible for making positive change. With solely individual action... change won’t happen. If just businesses make sustainable moves... change won’t happen. The Government could implement sustainability strategies, but still… change won’t happen.

Individuals, Government, and businesses must work together for real change to be made.


This is why we’re so freaking excited about the Government’s single-use and hard-to-recycle plastics ban proposal. If you go out in public, you’ll see individuals bringing their own reusables to grab kai, and the hospitality industry is already full of innovative businesses who have implemented reuse schemes and systems to avoid single-use serviceware items that ultimately screw up our planet. Now, the Government is completing the trifecta with a progressive and expansive proposal that could change wasteful eating habits as we know them.

This proposal is currently in the submission phase. We each have until the 4th of December to answer 23 questions the Government has asked us to give feedback on. As citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand and humans of this earth, we have a responsibility to support the Government’s suggestions and guide them on parts of the proposal that they have missed or points they haven’t considered.

If you were part of our Covid-19 Sustainable Reset, or are passionate about using your democracy to make positive change, now’s your opportunity! The Government has presented us with a rare chance to let them know what we want changed when it comes to single-use plastics and hard-to-recycle plastics.


What does the proposal include?

The Unofficial Summary of the proposal is a great place to start when understanding the proposal. The proposal itself is 74 pages long, so luckily Takeaway Throwaways have narrowed it down to just 5 easy to read slides.

Some highlights of the proposal include:

  • Bans on single-use plastic items such as bowls, plates, straws, stirrers, cutlery, cups and lids, and sushi trays
  • Bans on hard-to-recycle plastics such as polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride
  • Including single-use-plastic items made from not only degradable plastic, but also biodegradable, or compostable plastics

Some lowlights of the proposal include:

  • Excluding coffee cups and lids
  • Minimal focus on the reusable alternatives
  • Including straws with little to no consultation with the disability community

What can I do now?

Once you’ve read the proposal document or the summary, it’s time to make a submission! ‘Submitting’ simply means offering your feedback. It’s not scary, you don’t need to be a policy writer or ‘political person’ to submit, and you don’t have to have a lot of time either.

Takeaway Throwaways have put together a helpful Guide to submitting on the Government’s proposal to ban a range of hard-to-recycle and single-use plastic items. In the guide, you’ll find a group submission completed by zero waste groups across the country, Takeaway Throwaways’ complete submission (which you are welcome to copy and paste in your own submission), and Greenpeace’s quick and easy option that involves only entering your details.

The more thoughts you put into your submission, the better, but whatever time and capacity you have to submit, there are options for you!

Aotearoa New Zealand, CaliWoods crew… now’s our chance to use our democracy and make change, so we’re not the only weirdos bringing our reusables with us wherever we go!


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