THUMBS UP NEW ZEALAND!

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I propose we introduce compulsory labels on all food and drink packaging in New Zealand.


Let’s label products with ‘Two Green Thumbs Up’ meaning the packaging is 100% recyclable in New Zealand and made from 100% recycled materials, ‘One Horizontal Yellow Thumb' meaning it’s 100% recyclable in New Zealand, but not made from recycled materials, and ‘Two Red Thumbs Down’ meaning it’s not recyclable in New Zealand. It’s not an overly complicated system, because I don’t think it needs to be.


New Zealand is currently in the throes of a waste crisis. It’s a problem. And it’s growing daily.


Tonnes and tonnes of waste is clogging up our landfills with nowhere to go. Reducing our nation’s waste is key, but how on earth do we do that? It seems impossible, especially when we are not empowered as consumers to make quick and informed decisions about the environmental status of the goods we buy.


It should be a given that companies are concerned about our environment. I no longer want to unknowingly contribute to the waste problem. Zero waste would be ideal, but for many that is an impossible feat. So, I propose we as consumers drive companies to cater to our needs, and the health of our country. The label idea is simple, and leaves no room for loopholes. Plus, it doesn’t exclude those who can’t read. Sure, it might be embarrassing for companies to come clean about their packaging, but the visual and upfront nature of these labels should inspire them to seek greener solutions.


In New Zealand we already label where our food and drink comes from, it’s ingredients, it’s calorie intake, and if it’s plastic we can turn the package upside down and feel the indent of a little teeny number that tells us the Resin Identification Code - but hey, that’s not very direct or efficient. Especially when hunger or thirst calls. I don’t walk away knowing one very pointed and simple thing - can I throw this in the recycling bin without feeling guilty.


We will need our Councils nationwide to agree on a single standard of what is recyclable. As a small island nation surely we have the means to create and share in a single green waste identity that looks after our communities, our environment, and our wildlife. Nothing about this needs to be complicated.


So that we can inspire change overnight, a temporary solution would be to adopt biodegradable non toxic stickers that we can label all food and drink products with. The long term solution would be that the labels would have to be printed on the front of the packaging and incorporated in the company's packaging budget. The cost of the stickers should be absorbed by all companies if they wish to sell their products in New Zealand, and not burden the consumer. We’ll ask our Ministry of Primary Industries if they would consider regulating the labels, as they already monitor other food and drink labelling requirements.


Our nation’s waste is our nation’s responsibility. Let’s take this unfortunate current pollution crisis as a real means to inspire change. Please sign this petition if you think this is a good idea. Go on, give the labels a THUMBS UP!

- By signing this petition, it is deemed that you are in favour of the House of Representatives urging the New Zealand Government to introduce a compulsory labelling system on all food and drink packaging in New Zealand.

 



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