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Friday 13 October 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Environment, National


Solid Hazardous Waste Bill yet to be finalised
A bulldozer compacts the mountain of rubbish at the Cook Islands' landfill. Photo: Al Williams/19090428

The much anticipated Solid and Hazardous Waste Bill is yet to be finalised.

The Bill was to merge existing legislation under the Environment Act and Public Health Act and include schedule of banned plastic items including plastic straws, polystyrene containers, single serve butter and spreads as well as products containing microbeads.

Secretary for Infrastructure, Elizabeth Wright-Koteka said the Bill is currently with the Crown Law Office who is working with New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel Office to have it finalised for Cabinet’s approval. 

“The Bill has been many years in preparation, including consultation with all relevant stakeholders.”
Wright-Koteka said delays in its passage to Parliament, has been primarily due to capacity constraints in the agencies involved in its preparation and eventual implementation. 

“Once the Bill has been finalised and approved by Cabinet, we hope to implement a comprehensive awareness programme on the contents of the Bill itself and its implications,” she added.

It had been earlier reported that since 2012, the Cook Islands has had a “Single Use Plastics” regulation in place to guide their fight against plastic pollution, coupled with promotion of the “Reuse, Reduce and Recycle” values. 

The new Solid and Hazardous Waste Bill will also introduce an advanced disposable recovery fee.