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  • Writer's pictureJL Partners

First phase-out of problematic plastics begins

On 1 October some problematic plastics were banned. This is the first in a three-step process to phasing out single use plastics in Aotearoa.


What is banned

From 1 October 2022 it became illegal to provide, sell or manufacture the following plastic products in Aotearoa New Zealand: 

  • Single use plastic drink stirrers 

  • Single use plastic cotton buds 

  • Degradable plastics eg oxo and photo degradable

  • Certain PVC food trays and containers 

  • Polystyrene takeaway food and beverage packaging  

  • Expanded polystyrene food and beverage packaging. 


If you’re a consumer, then quite simply you will start to see less single use plastic in your life! At your favourite takeaway you will notice food in different packaging. When you go to the supermarket, certain products like plastic cotton buds will be replaced by bamboo or other non-plastic alternatives.


For many businesses, 1st October marks a new beginning in the way we operate. This means you may have to start using alternatives for packaging.


Here at the Ministry, we will be taking an educational approach with businesses to help with compliance. However, we will take enforcement action where necessary which may include handing out fines of up to $100,000 to those who deliberately don’t follow the new rules.


We have put together a helpful guide for businesses that are affected by this change.


Next steps

This is the first step in phasing out problematic plastics. The next tranche of products to be phased out will take place in mid-2023. We will continue to engage and communicate with the public and businesses on the further changes being made.


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