Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa
A panel convened by the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor set out with a bold and broad scope – to find ways to reduce the size of the plastic shadow that is cast by modern life. While they initially tried to reduce this scope, they ended up realising that plastic is everywhere, and we must approach it from all angles simultaneously.
Tackling the problem of plastic waste needs a systems change, a collection of adjustments – some large, some small – across all aspects of society. To begin, we painted ourselves a vision of what the future could look like if we make these changes. Their vision sets the stage for what follows. Aotearoa New Zealand can rethink how we use plastic, but the evidence-base to support these decisions in a system-wide way is lacking.
In order to support evidence-informed decisions, we have collated and synthesised information and expert opinion to provide the government with a rigorous system-wide overview of plastic in 2019, in the context of international best practice.