12 Sep 2017

NZ govt backs curbs on plastic use in Pacific

1:43 pm on 12 September 2017

New Zealand's Foreign Minister says his government welcomes the Pacific Island region's commitment to restrict use of plastic packaging.

Pacific Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum

Pacific Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum Photo: Tipi Autagavaia

Gerry Brownlee's comment comes as Pacific Islands Forum leaders commit to fast track the development of policies to ban the use of single-use plastic bags, plastic and styrofoam packaging.

Pacific Island nations are concerned about the alarming levels of plastic in the Pacific ocean and its island ecosystems.

Mr Brownlee said New Zealand was against the careless disposal of plastic into the ocean.

He also said New Zealand households had become more conscious about the packaging of products they purchase.

"That's the way our government would like things to progress, for there to be a natural rejection of too much plastic packaging, and then a proper treatment of that packaging once it's in the disposal position. But across the Pacific, they do worry very much about how much is just tossed overboard."