Waste to be tackled at source; not as an afterthought says Sage

Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage has announced that the next round of funding for waste minimisation projects will focus on preventing waste at source, rather than recycling end-of-pipe consumer waste.

“We need to stop thinking that recycling is the answer to our waste problems when actually producing less waste in the first place is better for the environment and our country,” Ms Sage said.

She said she is keen to see more projects come through that encourage a circular economy where we make, use and return products and materials instead of the current model where we take resources, use them then dispose of them.

A circular economy aims to reduce the resources and waste used to create a product. Examples include products that are made to last longer and can be repaired or be refurbished.

“Designing waste and pollution out of the system makes for a more sustainable society for future generations of New Zealanders. It creates long-term cost savings and more local job opportunities, encourages technical innovation, and reduces the amount of harmful waste produced, which decreases our impacts on climate change”, explained Ms Sage.

Applications to the circular economy round of the WMF will open on 1 May and close at noon on 14 May 2018.

For more information on the WMF and the circular economy visit . The Ministry for the Environment encourages potential applicants to discuss their projects with them: email