Standards and clear information needed on compostable and biodegradable plastics

New information confirms work is needed to ensure there are good standards and clear information for consumers about biodegradable and compostable plastics, Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage says.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Simon Upton published an online guide on biodegradable and compostable plastics yesterday.

“It’s very hard for families and businesses to make choices that are good for the environment when some products don’t do what they say,” Eugenie Sage said.

“This guide is a valuable resource for all consumers and fits well with wider work I am leading.

“Greenwashing is a real problem for people trying to do the right thing and I want standards implemented for biodegradable and compostable plastics and the Ministry for the Environment is looking at options for a labelling or certification regime.

“The Ministry for the Environment is also already working with industry leaders to develop a voluntary minimum standard for biodegradable and compostable plastics.

“Mr Upton has also called for a review of end-of-life infrastructure for biodegradable and compostable plastics. We are already reviewing onshore collection and processing services as part of our response to the current pressures on New Zealand’s waste and recycling sector.

“We need to design waste out of our economic system and create and buy products designed to have a long life, which can be easily disassembled so they can reused, recycled or composted.

“Ensuring that New Zealanders and businesses have the information they need to make informed choices for the environment is an important part of this,” Eugenie Sage said.

Further information

Media Contact: Maggie Tait 0273-469-570