The new bans were an important step, but still missed many of the largest producers of plastic waste in New Zealand, said Assoc Prof Terri-Ann Berry, the director of Environmental Solutions Research Centre at Unitec. She said that while drawing public attention to household waste was vital, “it’s very easy to forget that some of our more commercial sectors are also big plastic users”. Construction and demolition, for example, accounted for up to 50% of landfill waste in New Zealand.
The New Zealand government also has coffee cups and wet wipes in its sights, but Parker said work needed to be done to devise alternatives, and the government would announce the next steps for those items next year. The government also announced a fund for businesses to research alternatives to single-use plastics.