Letter: Plastic waste at transfer stations

I have received a response similar to the one you had from Auckland Council. It said that the Transfer Stations are privately owned but failed to explain why the signs as you enter one of these stations clearly say “AUCKLAND COUNCIL”.

It went on to say that Council had a policy to advocate for “Product Stewardship which would include a container deposit system”. They have obviously not considered the implications of such a scheme. The supplier will increase his charges to allow for double transport, storage and disposal costs. Retailers will increase charges to allow for double handling, storage (a major item and unhygienic) and processing refunds of the deposits. It would not be unreasonable to expect an increase of between 10% and 15% on ALL packaged goods.

Instead of having one (almost) hygienic point of disposal, the public must segregate, by supplier, different plastics, aluminium and steel tins, plastic wrap, polystyrene, paper, card and more. Each of these must be returned to the point of sale from where it can be sent back to the original supplier. The point of sale is not just a supermarket or dairy. It will apply to white-goods and fast-food outlets, grog-shops and anywhere offering any packaged items for sale—even an office with a soft-drink or confectionery machine! The next step will be to include packaging from ALL items (from chocolate wrappers to washing machine boxing and more)!

One last point. Auckland Council is free to advocate anything they wish (but, please, think through these plans before publicly embarrassing yourselves). They are NOT able to enforce such a scheme, this would require an Act of Parliament (which could take several years) and a two year lead-in. It’s not going to happen in the next five years so get up and come up with a practical and feasible method of disposing of plastic waste. Other countries do it and a wide range of equipment is available. What comes next? Advocating a personal landfill for each property?

A Hawkins, Waiuku

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