More than 500 Plastic-filled parcels mailed to MPs
More than 500 letters and parcels filled with nonrecyclable single-use plastics have now been mailed to MPs in Parliament via freepost. This week alone, the plastic2parliament initiative mailed over 130 plastic-stuffed letters to NZ First MP Jenny Marcroft to ask if her Party has a single-use plastic reduction policy. “Plastic waste is essentially environmental change in solid form,” said Wade Bishop, initiator of plastic2parliament. The plastic2parliament initiative encourages the public to include non-recyclable plastics in their mail to MPs to illustrate the problem. “The problem with these plastics is that once they’re in the environment they don’t go away but continue to break down into smaller and smaller particles.” Wade Bishop said. The letters ask MPs to support the Product Stewardship changes to the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 (WMA) proposed by the Government which includes many categories of plastic packaging but also ask for bans of avoidable plastics and for all political Parties to have a plastic-waste reduction policy. “Plastics are now in our water, our air, our food and we now eat about a credit cards worth or more every year. There’s plenty of research making its way into media about endocrine disrupting chemicals in plastic packaging and most recently to type 2 diabetes in research out of Australia.” Mr. Bishop said. “One could say that the cost of over-production of plastics is more than just the economics of dealing with the waste alone.” (Ref. sciencedirect.com; and baker.edu.au) Plastic2parliament is encouraging citizens concerned about the growing epidemic of avoidable and single-use packaging plastics to engage in penning letters to MPs in Parliament via the Parliamentary Freepost address. The initiative asks politicians to focus regulation on the producers of plastic packaging, while urging the public to stuff their large envelopes full of nonrecyclable plastics to make the point. The plastic2parliament initiative continues to grow quickly with membership numbers of the Facebook Group now more than 900 people since the initiative began in early October. “People are tired of plastic pollution being framed as a consumer issue, or one that is simply a matter of better collection and recycling.” Wade Bishop said. “The fact is, it’s more about unfettered production of higher and higher volumes of single-use plastics. It’s a production issue driven by the economic benefits of cheap plastics, which are cheap only because the true lifetime cost of those plastics is not currently carried by those producers.” The global oil industry is investing US$180 billion in new plastic production plants, over this coming 10 years, with the aim to increase production by 40% from the 348 million tonnes per year presently. Some estimates suggest that plastic waste volumes will quadruple by 2050. (Ref. theguardian.com; and sciencemag.org) “We already know that plastic waste and pollution is an enormous problem here in New Zealand, and globally. The current investments to increase plastic production exponentially in the face of the problems we already see is criminal. It’s foolish to think that New Zealand will not experience a massive increase in plastics given this mounting global supply pressure.” Mr Bishop said. Media Contact: Wade Bishop https://www.facebook.com/groups/plastic2parliament/ M: 021 432045 E: firstname.lastname@example.org ABOUT PLASTIC2PARLIAMENT Plastic2parliament is a letter-writing initiative started by Wade Bishop of Christchurch which encourages citizens concerned about the explosion of single-use plastics to include these products with their letters to MPs using the Parliamentary Freepost address. The purpose of the initiative is to creatively emphasise how these nonrecyclable products cannot be avoided by consumers and that the actual cause of plastic waste is over-production and use by manufacturers.Read more
Simon Bridges asked to put aside politics on plastic waste
This week the plastic2parliament initiative mailed well over 130 plastic-stuffed letters to National Party leader Simon Bridges asking him to “do something crazy” and put aside party politics on plastic waste.
The letters asked him to support the Product Stewardship changes to the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 (WMA) proposed by the Government including plastic packaging.
“A massive opportunity to get on top of New Zealand’s plastic waste problem was lost during the 9 years of a National Government where they essentially sat on the powers contained in the WMA and did absolutely nothing to deploy them. Now Simon Bridges can act constructively to support the Government’s proposed changes and announce a meaningful plastic reduction policy of his own as well.” said Wade Bishop, the initiator of the letter writing to MPs.
Plastic2parliament is encouraging citizens concerned about the growing epidemic of avoidable and single-use packaging plastics to engage in penning letters to MPs in Parliament via the Parliamentary Freepost address. Citizens are also being asked to stuff their large envelopes full of non-recyclable plastics.
“I see this as a creative way to physically take this unfettered, over-production of single-use plastics directly to the desks of MPs where they can’t ignore it.” said Mr. Bishop.
“MPs need to acknowledge that plastic waste is a production problem, not a consumer issue, and advocate for meaningful plastic reduction policies (within their respective political Party) and to regulate the producers of these plastic products,” he said.
The plastic2parliament initiative shows no sign of slowing down. Membership to the Facebook Group now growing beyond 800 people. In turn, its members have delivered more than 350 letters and parcels of non-recyclable plastics to MPs since the middle of October.
“This might seem like a frivolous thing to be doing, but we are drawing attention to very serious issues that the public and MPs need to be fully aware of,” Wade Bishop said.
“The fact is, while we already now know that plastic pollution is an astonishingly big problem, global oil companies are investing US$180 billion in new plastic manufacturing plants aiming to increase virgin plastic production by 40% before 2030.
“This is the true cause of the explosion in single-use plastics around us here in New Zealand. This clearly illustrates that it is a production issue and not a matter of consumer choice as we always seem to hear.” he said.
Plastic2parliament is advocating that waste policy and legislation focus on the source of single-use plastics by regulating the producers of them to reduce volumes of plastic packaging entering the economy and then the environment.
“Setting measurable reduction targets on the import of virgin plastic resins, used for packaging, and, on import volumes of new plastic packaging, would be one clear way of measuring the success of any regulations that are put in place.” Mr. Bishop said.
“Only about 20% of plastics are recycled each year and many are not even recyclable for various reasons. With plastic production set to increase 40 percent in the coming 10 years, recycling is clearly not the solution to the plastic waste problem. The best solution is making less in the first place.” he said.
Climate Change and Mental Health top priorities for Port Hills nomination – Joe Davies
I’m standing to represent the millennial generation and to broaden the debate around mental illness and climate change, Labour Party member Joe Davies said today.
Joe Davies is a 25 year old activist and a member of the Port Hills Labour electorate committee. Mr Davies was formerly the Head Boy at Linwood College through the 2011 earthquakes and at 19 he was elected on to the Hagley Ferrymead Community Board. After completing one term on the Community Board Mr Davies decided to pursue a career in nursing.
“I’m currently coming to the end of my nursing education and its given me a deep insight into the health of our people,” Mr Davies said.
“I have been impressed by the work of the Ardern Government in dealing with chronic underfunding from the Key Government era and giving our health workers greater facilities and resources.”
Davies says that if he is unsuccessful in the race to become the next Labour Port Hills nominee he will enter psychiatric nursing at Hillmorton Hospital.
“Those that end up as inpatients at specialist mental health services are some of the most traumatized and vulnerable people you will ever meet. We have to do everything we can to give them the tools to recover and contribute to society.
“I’m putting myself forward for the vacancy created by Ruth Dyson who has been a wonderful community focussed parliamentarian, because I want to be part of this Government that is reshaping our mental health system.
“I have also been inspired by the youth movement that is winning office across New Zealand.
“You only need to look at the local government election results to see that the voters are wanting to pass on the baton to competent young candidates.”
Davies is also standing to broaden the debate around climate change.
“Voters in the Port Hills are switched on about the environment and the need for action on climate change. I believe that I can best represent their interests both for the Labour nomination and the upcoming 2020 General election,” Mr Davies said.
For more information:
Joe Davies – (027) 552 1295Read more