Our time is limited, and our actions today will have consequences beyond our time.
What we leave behind is our contribution woven into the lives of others, this is our legacy. So why not leave a legacy that we can be proud of – and one that our kids, and their kids, can too be proud of?
Keeping our clean and green image is something that most of us kiwis are passionate about. With the population growing and consumption higher than it has ever been – and rising – this is becoming an ongoing challenge to stay on top of. Approximately 3/4 of the waste deposited into our landfills, could have been ‘saved’ – repurposed, reused, recycled.
Until now, as a country we’ve been sending our waste (and waste issues) offshore, but early last year China’s National Sword initiative brought a stop to that, forcing the New Zealand Government to come up new initiatives to sustainably deal with waste domestically.
In May this year, the NZ Government announced part of its plan to help turn around New Zealand’s poor record on waste disposal. The chosen next steps are now part of the Ministry for the Environment’s workstream, set up in response to the Chinese Government’s ban on the import of many recycling materials.
The plan includes; looking at ways to increase our ability to process paper and cardboard and re-process plastic, reviewing regional kerb-side systems to ensure we are minimizing the amount of waste going to landfill, identifying gaps in waste infrastructure and materials recovery, finding options to shift away from using hard-to-recycle plastic and running an education campaign to inform about ‘recycling right’ and minimising the amount of recyclable material going to landfill due to contamination.
Fast-tracking the high-priority, high-impact stuff to make the greatest immediate impact and future-proof our environment for generations to come makes sense – so a shout out to the government for putting these initiatives in place. But the question is… how can we, as individuals and businesses, do more to ensure we give more to the future?
At Sequal, we’ve been working to identify ways to both minimise waste and divert it from landfill where possible – this has come with its challenges. We use PET strap and plastic wrap for our product packaging – both of which are technically ‘recyclable’ but are made of plastic types not accepted by many recycling outfits because of their current inability to reprocess them domestically (one of the many things the govt. is working on changing).
We’re working with suppliers to find ways to challenge the status quo so that our waste is disposed of sustainably and not simply dumped in landfill. We’re also in the process of setting up our own recycling practices and undertaking a sustainability audit to possibly uncover things we hadn’t thought of yet.
The future is silent as they don’t yet have a voice. We need to be their voice and strive to leave the world unspoilt for our kids and the generations to come. We believe that if we all can continually do a little bit more, even if it doesn’t feel like much, we can create the change that we need to live up to our obligations. Because we are on the journey, we know some of the challenges… so if you share our view, reach out (firstname.lastname@example.org), we are keen to share what we have learnt and to learn from you too.