WELLINGTON, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand government announced Friday funding for projects that will cut plastic waste and reduce its impact on the environment.
The first four investments were announced to be made from the 50 million-NZ dollar (29.2 million-U.S. dollar) Plastics Innovation Fund, which was set last year, Environment Minister David Parker said in a statement.
The projects include Marley NZ, partnering with Waste Management and Unitec, to minimize construction waste by breaking down old plumbing pipes made of PVC and HDPE and using the material to make new pipes.
The total funding for the four Plastics Innovation Fund projects amounts to 5.57 million NZ dollars (3.25 million U.S. dollars)
"Together, these projects help to turn Kiwi innovation and imagination into reality, and change the way we make, use and dispose of plastics," Parker said.
The minister said the government is also utilizing funding from the Waste Minimization Fund to help design a regulated plastic packaging product stewardship scheme for New Zealand. Once in place it will require producers, brand owners, importers, retailers and consumers to take responsibility for collecting and dealing with plastic packaging.
An estimated 60 percent of plastics imported into New Zealand is used by the packaging sector, statistics showed.
The investment will help reduce the amount of plastic waste that gets into the environment and into landfill, Parker said, adding that they build on the decisive action the government has already taken to tackle the problem of plastic pollution, including the ban on single-use plastic bags, polystyrene food and drink packaging and other single use plastic items. ■