27 Aug 2017

Green Party's trash to cash plan

10:42 am on 27 August 2017

The Green Party wants to put an immediate 20 cent charge on plastic bags, phase out plastic packaging, and send zero waste to landfill by 2050.

As part of an environment policy announced today, it also wants to bring in a programme where people can get refunds for recycling drink containers.

Mayors from Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin are pushing for a levy on single use plastic bags.

The Green Party is taking aim at plastic bag pollution. Photo: 123RF

The party said the "Trash to cash" scheme would double recycling rates, create 2400 jobs, and generate revenue for community groups.

Greens leader James Shaw said if elected to Government, it also wants to get rid of single plastic bag use in its first term.

James Shaw, Leader of the Green Party

James Shaw said plastic was a major problem along coastlines. Photo: RNZ/Rebekah Parsons-King

"We love our beaches and our oceans, our plan will protect the places we love from pollution and generate community jobs.

"Plastic pollution is a major problem along our coastlines."

A similar 'Trash to Cash' scheme to the Green Party's proposed idea was popular in Australia, Mr Shaw said.

"90 percent of local councils endorsed the idea because they've seen that it's worked in South Australia, a state with a container deposit scheme, has the lowest rate of litter."

"It's time to embrace sustainable alternatives such as bamboo and move away from the overuse of plastics in packaging and utensils," Mr Shaw said.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs