BOTTLE DEPOSITS – WILL OUR LOCAL MP TAKE UP THE CAUSE?

I love the way that here in NZ we have true local area representation in parliament. Hence I am approaching our local MP who last year signed his name to petitioning the government for refundable bottle deposits.  Now it seems hard to contact him….  Latest email sent 10 February 2018 (correspondence as from 1st January below):   Dear Matt      I and many who share the zero waste kaupapa here in the Far North are waiting to hear how you can represent our voice in Parliament.     Would you be willing to let me know what you will do for us so that  I can pass it on to all those others in our Social Media groups?

Sincerely   Jane B

Ps pic attached shows the 43 bottles and cans – amongst other stuff – that I collected on a walk yesterday morning in the 500m stretch up the hill and down the other side from Paihia Beach to Te Haumi Beach.  I believe it speaks for itself…

Email sent  1 Febrary 2018    Hi Matt

I’m not an expert, just a passionate Far North Citizen, concerned about getting ‘all our ducks in a row’ so together we  look after the mana of the whenua and moana of  our region.  I see the importance of these deposits not just for their own sake but  o restore and regenerate our mana for the sake of us, the people of the Far North,  currently using these items, our ancestors and our children. We aren’t, in my opinion, doing  well right now either at generating environmental mana nor our own.  Bottle deposits become a lead in to our regaining a greater felt connection with the natural world as what we do each day shows us that we are looking after it rather than defacing it.  That increase in our own mana spills over into enhancing connection with one another.  It’s a bigger picture than it may look at first…..

My understanding is that the main work on this has been done by Envision http://www.envision-nz.com/projects/  – check out the 2015 report, The InCENTive to Recycle, looked at the effectiveness of bringing back bottle refunds (cash for containers) to lift recycling rates in New Zealand.   Also an Auckland Council commissioned, independent cost benefit analysis of the Envision model released in December 2017

The people who form the NZ Product Stewardship Council  are also knowledgeable about this area.   https://www.nzpsc.nz/faq/ and I am sure would be keen to provide you with what ever further information you need.

As you may be aware Scotland has recently joined the countries using the scheme – and Coca Cola is on board with the idea. , Britain is looking into it seriously https://www.nzpsc.nz/uk-impacts-of-a-deposit-refund-system-for-one-way-beverage-packaging-on-local-authority-waste-services/

and as I pointed out before , Australia looks like this :

Quite honestly – what is there not to like?

Jane

 

Email received 1 February 2018    Hi Jane

Do you have info from overseas jurisdictions that we could model any proposed changes in NZ on.
Email sent 1 February 2018   Dear Matt

I imagine you may be now back at work and I believe you will be interested to read of what is happening in New South Wales:

“More than 50 million drink containers have been returned through the Return and Earn recycling program since it began in December 2017. NSW Environment Protection Authority Acting Chair and CEO Mark Gifford said daily returns are averaging 1.5 million drink containers. Weekends tend to be the busiest times for returns, with last Sunday peaking at over 1.8 million returns.”  (http://wastemanagementreview.com.au/50-million-drink-containers-collected-return-earn/)

As you are now well known amongst Far North citizens anxious to see refundable deposits on drinks containers from your pre-election commitment to this in Russell last year, would you now be willing to clarify what you will do to ensure advanced deposits are in place on all bottles and cans by the end of this year for the benefit of us all, the citizens of New Zealand and the other living creatures with whom we share this common world?

Jane B

Email received 17 January 2018    Hi Jane

I’m still on holiday will get back to you later.

Regards Matt King Northland MP

 

Email sent 17 January 2018    Good morning Matt

As I walked up Seaview Road this morning, in the first 250 metres I picked up – amongst other discards – these bottles and cans – see pic attached. It reminded me that I haven’t yet heard back from you regarding what you are going to do for us your constituents and the wellbeing of the Far North environment regarding ensuring a bottle deposit scheme is in place for all bottles and cans in NZ by the end of 2018.

As you are now well known amongst Far North citizens keen to see this go from your pre-election commitment to this in Russell last year, would you now be willing to clarify what you will do to ensure advanced deposits are in place on all bottles and cans by the end of this year?

Jane b

Email sent 5 January 2018   Hi Matt

While you are discussing the bottle deposit scheme with your colleagues, this will I think be really helpful – a short video that explains the whole system and how it works – wish I’d seen it earlier!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKhzcq_bSq4

I will wait to hear what you think.

Sincerely  Jane B

Email sent 2 January    Hi Matt

My understanding is that it doesn’t affect retailers at all apart from a very minor increase in the price of drinks.  The drinks companies add the 10c per drink bottle for example and pay this into a fund managed by Stakeholders. Community recycling depots refund the 10c to the person who brings in the bottle and are reimbursed from the managed fund.  (You will see the full costs and benefits to all Stakeholders including local and central government and the drinks industry set out in the Envision Report (see below).

As the money is invested in the meantime these funds and the interest earned  add to those obtained from the sale of the product by the centres to recycling businesses and just about cover the whole cost of the system.  What I like is that these centres bring jobs to the regions too – as well as taking the costs away from Councils and onto those directly involved, producers and consumers – to me this looks like a win-win for us the people of the Far North.  And the great thing is that the legislation is already in place in the 2008 Waste Minimisation Act – it just needs the will to put the scheme in place.  I know so well from my personal discussions that the Kiwi public are absolutely behind it; they see it as a no-brainer.

(For your information, drinks companies are coming on board across the globe. See for example this article ‘Coca-Cola backs Scottish bottle deposit scheme calls’ http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-39055909 )

In response to your first request for back up information, I have now located the 2015 Envision Report that I was seeking  (you will find the full report at this link  and I believe it will provide the clarity you need to discuss the issue further with your colleagues   https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By5tj62u3HilUzZfSGNGTk5vd1k/view  )

Here are a few salient points from the report:

KEY FEATURES OF THE Container Deposit Scheme  proposed in this report are:

  • Government declares beverage containers a priority product requiring a mandatory product stewardship scheme to be put in place and sets a system target rate of 85%
  • A minimum refundable 10-cent deposit applies to all beverage containers
  • A Managing Agency is set up by the beverage industry and other stakeholders

to coordinate and manage the flow of materials and funds through the system

  • The Business and Social Enterprises sets up a collection system of convenient drop-

off points where the public can receive refunds for their containers.

BENEFITS

The predicted benefits of the model include:

  • At least double the quantities of all beverage containers recovered (with a

target of 85%)

  • At least 45,865 additional tonnes of containers diverted from landfill (an

increase of 43%)

  • At least 700 million additional containers diverted from landfill (an increase of 74%)
  • Potential savings to NZ ratepayers of between $26million and $40million per

annum from refuse collection savings (based on bag rates of between $2 and $3

per bag)

  • Reduced litter and litter control costs
  • Reduced costs to councils and ratepayersthrough higher kerbside recycling revenues
  • Increased business opportunities for recyclers as a result of the increased

volumes of clean recycled materials

  • Up to 2,400 new, entry-level to managerial- level jobs spread throughout the country
  • New business opportunities for entrepreneurs to set up collection depots
  • New income streams for social service groups who can collect containers

for refunds and also to set up social enterprises to operate collection depots

 

Please get back to me with your thoughts. I’m here to assist.

Jane B

Email received 2 January 2018    from Matt King

I went on the website and watched the short video question I have is this would be a huge burden to retailers and who would pay.

Regards Matt King Northland MP

Email sent 2 January 2018    Hi Matt, I appreciate your positive response.

Just checking with those that know more than me what would be the best information to send you.  Here’s one recent article about whats happening in the UK for you in the meantime… http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/12/22/recycling-giant-backs-mps-call-uk-plastic-bottle-deposit-scheme/

I will be back to you soon.  Jane B

Email received 1 January 2018 Hi Jane

Happy to look into this.  Send me the information I need it helps when similar countries have such a scheme  that  makes it easier to sell to the law makers.

Regards Matt King Northland MP

Email sent 1st January 2018    Hi Matt

I hear more and more concern – from people in the Far North both in person and online, anxious about the amount of rubbish on the roadsides and in the streams and on beaches. A lot of this is plastic bottles, glass bottles and drink cans.

You told me at the Russell Birdman Festival that you are in favour of these advanced deposits.    By the end of this year every State in Australia will have introduced a deposit system – will you as our local Far North MP  push New Zealand to do this too for the sake of our whenua and moana here in the Far North. It needs your help. We the people of the Far North need your help.

The facts are indisputable – have a look at https://kiwibottledrive.nz/solution/  if you would like more information. The campaign was started and is still being driven by a resident of the Far North, Warren Snow from Kaitaia. I have copied him into this email. I am sure he would be keen to provide you with more information if required. The FNDC is all in favour . It looks like deposit refunds will be introduced in Scotland and the UK before long …. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/11/plastic-bottle-deposit-return-scheme-could-save-englands-councils-35m-a-year   http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/12/22/recycling-giant-backs-mps-call-uk-plastic-bottle-deposit-scheme/

Matt, will you please put your weight behind  advanced deposits – young Nats may be keen to take this up too if they haven’t already  – lets get this in action for the sake of us all here in the Far North and our children and grandchildren’s future.

Meanwhile, I and 2 others are working to put a water drinking and bottle refilling fountain into the Paihia waterfront – we are doing what we can, can you please do your bit too.

Hei konā mai i roto i ngā mihi /Goodbye for now & thank you

Jane

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