Retailers operating in New Zealand should be aware that certain hard-to-recycle packaging and single-use plastic products are now banned.

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

Single-use plastic drink stirrers (all plastic types)

Definition: A single-use plastic drink stirrer is any beverage stirrer made wholly or partly of plastic, including compostable and biodegradable plastic, designed to be used once or a limited number of times before being thrown away.

Single-use plastic cotton buds (all plastic types)

Definition: Single-use plastic cotton bud has a stem made wholly or partly of plastic with cotton wool (or synthetic fibre) wrapped around one or both ends, or has a non-plastic stem with synthetic fibre wrapped around one or both ends. They are designed to be used once or a limited number of times before being thrown away.

Exemptions: Can be manufactured and sold when used for medical or scientific purposes

Plastics with pro-degradant additives (subset of plastic type 7)

Definition: Plastic products with pro-degradant additives added to them (e.g., oxo and photo degradable plastics). Pro-degradant additives cause products to fragment into smaller plastic pieces (microplastics).

Certain PVC food trays and containers (plastic type 3)

Definition: Pre-formed trays and containers that contain any PVC (plastic type 3) or polyvinylidene dichloride (PVdC) when they are used for products including:

– Meat, fish, poultry, or any substitute of those including fresh, preserved or frozen
– Fresh produce
– Baked goods.

Polystyrene takeaway food and beverage packaging (plastic type 6)

Definition: Polystyrene (plastic type 6) used to package ready-to-eat food and beverages including:

  • Trays
  • Takeaway containers
  • Clamshells and bowls
  • or any other form of polystyrene packaging which is filled with food or beverage at a retailer but not manufactured there.
Expanded polystyrene food and beverage packaging (plastic type 6)

Definition: Food and beverage packaging made from expanded polystyrene (plastic type 6) and sold at retail. This includes pre-formed expanded polystyrene products (eg, food service ware) and form-fill-seal EPS packaging (eg, expanded polystyrene instant noodle cups).

READ MORE ABOUT TRANCHE 1

Summary of plastic resin identification codes

 

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National Retail Association role

The National Retail Association has been engaged as an external consultant for the Ministry for the Environment to support the delivery of Tranche 1 and 2 of the Aotearoa New Zealand Single-Use Plastic Ban.

If you have questions, contact the plastic phase-out team at [email protected].