Should NZ follow France’s plan to ban plastic cups, containers and utensils by 2020?

Back in September 2016 it was reported in the Independent that France passed a new law to ban all non-biodegradable plastic cups, containers and utensils, a law that will come into effect in 2020.

Here in New Zealand on 5 January 2017, TV station 1 News conducted a quick (unscientific) poll on Facebook  to see whether us Kiwis thought it might be a good plan here too. Overwhelmingly, we said YES, with more than 2,200 people voting yes, as opposed to just 66 people saying no to banning non-biodegradable plastics.

New Zealand’s environment minister Nick Smith is reported to be excited at the idea, telling 1 NEWS new initiatives could have a “roll on effect” here:

“One of the most exciting ones for instance is using the waste products from the kiwifruit industry to create knives and forks that are recyclable and biodegradable – that is an important part of the future,” he said.

“There are hundreds of millions of meat trays that are used in our supermarket sector that used to be made of polystyrene … that industry has moved over to a biodegradable product.”

We think we can do better here. The technology is out there, we just need to implement it and clean up our act for the generations to come. Coffee capsules, as you will see in the below video, are just one of many waste products that consumers are responsible for creating, and not all business owners are as interested in sustainability and recycling as they need to be.


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