“In 2021, in the middle of a climate emergency, it is difficult to see how any company can justify creating thousands of tonnes of waste each year, without having to pay for the costs of that harm.”
Yellow has recently carried out its annual delivery of unsolicited advertising to millions of households and businesses around the country. This process creates a huge amount of waste that goes straight to landfills every year. We could be talking about anywhere between 600 and 4000 tonnes of waste each year from this practice alone, but we don't know the exact figure as Yellow NZ has not answered this question.
TOP says this practice is long past its expiry date. “It is another example of a privatisation of profit, and socialising the costs.” TOP leader, Shai Navot says. “Yellow’s refusal to change its business model is a reminder that it’s time to make polluters pay.”
“Labour claimed climate change was this generation’s nuclear-free moment, but has not even taken steps on the low-hanging fruit. TOP is sick of listening to politicians talking about change, but taking no action.”
TOP also says it is not an excuse for Yellow to claim that its books can be recycled. “Recycling should not be used as a shield to protect a company from taking responsibility for the environmental impacts of their business practices.” Navot says. “Recycling does not offset the environmental impacts from creating the millions of books in the first place, from the tree felling, chemicals in printing, and plastic created to wrap each individual copy.”
TOP says that the fact that only 7% of households have gone through the process to ‘Opt-Out’ shows the hassle is too high a barrier for change. “TOP would require companies like Yellow to establish an ‘Opt-In’ subscription only” Navot says. “Changing the default subscription would have an immediate impact to reduce the amount of waste that gets created in the first place.” Navot says. It is questionable how many people are even using this service, and how many just throw these books straight in the bin.