Jacinda Ardern Pledges $50 Million To Eliminate Single-Use Plastic From New Zealand
Jacinda Ardern has unveiled her plan for the future of New Zealand, if Kiwis decide to vote Labour at the upcoming election.
The Prime Minister's Labour party has committed to eliminating single-use plastic and hard-to-recycle materials from the country by 2025. Some of the target items are polystyrene packaging, cotton buds, drink stirrers, produce bags, straws, and some cups.
Ms Ardern is also pledging $50 million to go towards establishing a fund for businesses to find alternatives to those nasty products.
Ms Ardern said in a statement: "New Zealanders are proud of our clean and green reputation and Labour is committed to taking the next steps to protect our environment from the harm of plastic waste.
"Getting rid of plastics is one of the main topics children write to me about, so this policy is about ensuring we uphold our clean green image, reduce waste in our environment and create a future our children can be proud of.
"In our first term we banned single-use plastic bags, with over one billion bags estimated to have been removed from the environment. Already groups who clean up our coastlines are reporting finding fewer plastic bags on our beaches."
Incredibly, nearly two thirds of the rubbish found on Kiwi beaches every year is plastic. Everyone knows this type of garbage can wreak havoc on the health and ecosystem of the local area, especially when it breaks down into smaller microplastics.
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Labour's plan to eliminate these types of plastics will have some exemptions for people with disabilities.
Ms Ardern continued: "All of these items currently have non-plastic alternatives, and some we will be able to phase out before 2025.
"But we want to ensure that there is adequate lead in time and businesses are not put under any pressure to change out their products in the short term.
"Businesses were given ample notice to phase out plastic bag use and that went seamlessly. Many business are already using plastic alternatives and it's likely that by signalling these changes we will see more businesses making the shift."
The big general election will be held on Saturday October 17 and it appears Labour is in front, at the moment.
The latest poll, done by 1News/Colmar Brunton, shows Labour leading at 47 points, with the National party up two points to 33.
Featured Image Credit: PA