Rethinking Plastics – Press Gallery

Below are are press items in response to the release of the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand (ordered from newest to oldest). You can read more about the Rethinking Plastics project here.

Credit: NZ Herald/Jason Oxenham

15/01/20 RNZForward planning for recycling plastic

9/1/2020 – New Zealand could still be waiting until 2030 for onshore recycling facilities 

17/12/19 – opportunity: Why NZ needs to build its own recycling plants

16/12/19 – ScoopRural recycling rates soar, but more solutions needed

11/12/19 – The Detail (podcast via Newsroom)Rethinking Plastic – from sequins to stickers

9/12/19 – ScoopPlastics NZ to ‘Make Best Practice Standard Practice’ 

9/12/19 – Newsroom –  Sequins in our seafood: NZ’s plastic problem revealed

8am 9/12/19 – RNZReducing single use plastic needs consistent, national approach – WasteMINZ

8am 9/12/19 – RNZChief Science Advisor recommends plan to phase out plastic

8am 9/12/19 – RNZEugenie Sage on plastic phase out plan

8/12/19 – The SpinoffCheat Sheet: A chance for NZ to lead the world in cutting back on plastic

8/12/19 – NewshubGovernment to phase out more single-use plastics in favour of recyclable materials

8/12/19 – ODTPolystyrene next target in war on plastic

9pm 8/12/19 – NewsieGovernment targets polystyrene meat trays, takeaway containers in bid to cut waste

3pm 2/12/19 – RNZGovernment targets polystyrene meat trays, takeaway containers in bid to cut waste

2pm 8/12/19 – use in NZ by 2030: Ecotourism, reusables and refunds for plastic

1pm 8/12/19 – Newstalk ZBSunday Panel: Will latest plastic ban make a difference?

1pm 8/12/19 – NZ Herald‘There is more to do’ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reveals next steps in fight against plastics

12pm 8/12/19 – ScoopWasteMINZ Press Release Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa NZ

10am 8/12/19 – Newstalk ZBCrackdown on plastic: Takeaway containers next in line for ban

10am 8/12/19 – NZ HeraldPolystyrene food containers next targets in the war on plastic

10am 8/12/19 – NZ HeraldPrime Minister aims new plastics ban at meat trays and takeaway cups

10am 8/12/19 – ScoopRethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand

Our vision

Our panel imagined a future of what plastic use could look like in Aotearoa New Zealand, which set the stage for Rethinking Plastics.


Our recommendations that follow reflect the scale of the plastics problem that Aotearoa New Zealand currently faces. There is no silver bullet to fix this issue – we need to pull every lever.

Plastic resource portal

A central resource for information on plastics across the entire value chain, including the effects of plastic pollution.

Case Studies

Recyclable shoes

As part of its recent pledge to use only recycled plastics by 2024, Adidas revealed a new sneaker made from 100% recyclable materials. Driven by a connection to environmental organisation Parley for…

New Zealand Post’s quest for an alternative to plastic

The driver: New Zealand Post wants a more sustainable, environmentally friendly alternative to their existing plastic mailers (e.g. courier bags, pre-paid postage bags). New Zealand Post has also…

Reducing the carbon footprint of plastics by using recycled plastic

In a study of the carbon footprint of projected global plastic use between 2015 and 2050, Zheng and Suh modelled a theoretical situation of 100% recycling of plastic in 2050, and found it had a 25%…

Product stewardship for agricultural plastics

Farms and agricultural properties can generate a lot of waste and traditionally the approach to dealing with this waste has involved the 3Bs – burning, burying or bulk storing. In surveys that took…

The Australasian Recycling Label

The Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) is an evidence-based standardised system that provides easy to understand disposal instructions for each part of a product’s packaging. The Australian Packagi…

Para Kore – helping people reduce their waste

Para Kore is a Māori organisation that provides mentoring and support for marae, kōhanga reo, kura, community organisations, iwi, tertiary, commercial sector, events and Māori communities to reduce…

Incentivising use of recycled plastic

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) in the US established the ‘Recycling Demand Champions’ initiative to make plastic recycling a mature and stable market. The aim is that by having company…

Uncertainty around data on plastic beverage containers

Plastic beverage containers are one of the most common single-use plastic packaged products. These are manufactured onshore or imported as packaged goods. Two groups have estimated the production…

Plastic waste during new-build construction

During 2017-2018, Cerqueira evaluated the use of source separation for the recovery of construction waste on an active new-build construction site.[1] The site chosen was a residential development…

A council-led school event to raise awareness around plastic waste

The Dunedin City Council arranged an event to promote the reduction of single-use plastic in students’ lunch boxes as part of Plastic Free July 2019. The aim of the project was to engage students an…

At a glance summary

Two-page summary of the findings 

Key messages

40-page summary of the key messages 

Full report

The long and detailed full report


All infographics developed for this report


  Phone: + 64 9 923 6318

Mailing Address

Office of the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor
The University of Auckland
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New Zealand