Packaging touches everybody, every day – putting it firmly in the crosshairs of those who are on a crusade to rid the world of plastic.
Packaging New Zealand executive director Sharon Humphreys said the sheer volume of plastic packaging apparently seems to justify lumping it together with items such as plastic cutlery, plastic straws and plastic shopping bags.
“Sadly, a distinction is rarely made on the world of difference between discretionary plastic items and product packaging," said Humphreys.
“It is hard to imagine anyone involved in a rational debate about plastic failing to understand the need for, and benefits of, packaging and, in particular, food packaging.”
Anyone determined to look for ‘bad’ packaging will inevitably find some example to suit their particular argument, but this should not be a reason to wage war on the widespread use of a packaging material which protects and delivers goods effectively, efficiently and economically.
“We accept that as an industry we should be doing all that we can to reduce the plastic burden on our environment through better packaging design, innovative new materials and developing and supporting end-of-life solutions. This is already happening on a massive global scale, so it is disappointing that the energy behind commitments and pledges being made by businesses across the packaging value chain is being wilfully ignored, in favour of simplistic calls for levies which will be socially regressive.”
Packaging NZ supports a plan for New Zealand that fosters meaningful engagement and sensible debate about the capacity and capability to accelerate plastic packaging solutions.
“At the same time, as an industry, we have a responsibility to manage the expectations behind our commitments because, contrary to headline-grabbing wish-lists, none of this is easy.”