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Add a tax to plastic bottles that can be partially reclaimed when recycled

Add a tax to plastic bottles that can be partially reclaimed when recycled

A user pays packaging system. This has worked particularly well in France where a 0.20c extra charge was put on all plastic bottles then you could claim most of that back when you took it to a vending machine which paid you out. This could work on other items & uses the supplier barcode to claim & identify. Even if some don't care to collect It would give those that need extra money a productive way to earn (kids, homeless etc) & keep NZ green. The best thing is it's not re inventing the wheel, the technology already exists & it pays for itself. We need to do something to reduce the waste going to landfill & I think this would be a positive start

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    • Philip Wilkinson
      commented 2016-12-07 12:33:11 +1300
      Hi Brendan,
      I think that this should be cornerstone stuff… these are the types of philisophical goals we should have and while the Greens try they tend to get hung up on going to the worst case. Pretty much all plastics can be recycled. Why dont we? the issue is making it commercially viable, and a lot of this relates to the potential market for the regrind in NZ because we import so much finished product i.e. the manufacturers that could utilise it are offshore, or if they are local can probably buy a virgin imported material cheaper. One of my other posts suggested we should have an environmental tax for items imported that could be made locally i.e. if a plastic can only be reused offshore then the cost of the recycling and shipping back to the market should be worn by the importer. At the moment I believe most of the regrind PET from bottles goes offshore, I had a market for several MT per month but the cost of using this was higher than buying virgin material from offshore. If we were taxing the importer based on environmental sustainability of the manufacturer and re-use we would address this balance. effectively I am pushing the 10c per plastic bag back to the person that chose to import new bags as opposed to making them locally with new or recycled material. Cradle to the Grave…

      Regarding the Plastic V Paper, I believe someone did a research paper on it years ago at Auckland Uni… to make a paper cup there is significant bleaching that occurs in the paper making process AND then a resin called Kymene which is a wet strength additive is used to stop them leaking. then to reuse paper cups they need to be collected and cleaned (detergent) then broken down again. A styrene cup could potentially be re-used very easily in products such as polyester resin or to remake the same cups or for packaging, over and over again.
      I actually work in the plastic industry and we recyle 100% of our plastic waste and in some cases are paid for it… Paper and wood we can only recycle if it fits certain criteria and the council bin provided, I probably send 1m3 of wood/paper to land fill each week.
    • Philip Wilkinson
      tagged this with important 2016-12-07 12:33:11 +1300
    • Brendan Clarke
      commented 2016-12-07 11:16:12 +1300
      This is probably not cornerstone policy material, but do think it is something that should be looked into further. There is no doubt that plastic is becoming a bit of a problem, and current recycling methods simply aren’t successful enough. Perhaps the income generated could be funnelled into research into affordable and more eco-friendly forms of packaging.

      Philip – I’d be interested to see any links to information about the plastic vs paper packaging eco-impact?
    • Brendan Clarke
      tagged this with interesting 2016-12-07 11:16:12 +1300
    • Tim O'Donnell
      commented 2016-12-03 07:47:00 +1300
      Yachal, the bar code is just a way of using existing information on the packaging for identifying the item as being refundable. It’s the way the refund vending machines work overseas. It could have been Germany I saw (& used) the technology. Thought it was a great idea at the time.
    • Philip Wilkinson
      commented 2016-12-02 11:50:41 +1300
      I think unbiased research would be a good spend on a plastic tax…

      did you know Plastic cups are actually better for the environment than paper?
      or that nuclear power is the cleanest power yet?
      or that hedgehogs are worse for our native birdlife than cats?

      Time we actually understood and communicated the full story rather than the uneducated beliefs of the mass media.
    • Philip Wilkinson
      tagged this with interesting 2016-12-02 11:50:41 +1300
    • Bruce Thomas
      commented 2016-12-02 08:31:45 +1300
      Good idea.
    • Bruce Thomas
      tagged this with important 2016-12-02 08:31:45 +1300
    • Lawrence Upson
      tagged this with important 2016-12-02 05:25:27 +1300
    • Lawrence Upson
      commented 2016-12-02 05:25:18 +1300
      Some variation on this suggestion holds a lot of merit, I wholly support this Tim. Not sure about the barcode business but I like the idea of universal plastics and glass taxation. Ok glass is not the enemy here but I believe the systems in europe cover it so why not.. User pays (therefore discouraging them from gratuitous packaging) and user redeems (either via the outlet or via public recycling depositories. I believe in Germany the bottles left by lazy users provide a trickle income for those unfortunate enough to be living on the street.
    • Tim O'Donnell
      tagged this with essential 2016-12-01 10:47:10 +1300
    • Tim O'Donnell
      published this page in Suggestions 2016-12-01 10:45:46 +1300