Snippets: Aug – Oct 2018

Takeaway?

New Zealand may be perceived as clean and green by the rest of the world, but we have a significant and growing problem. As a country we guzzle our way through approximately 295 million cups of takeaway coffee a year.

But coffee cups are recyclable, I hear you say. Unfortunately not; they’re treated with something called polyacetylene (PE), which makes them coffee-proof, but extremely difficult to recycle. To be recycled the PE lining needs to be separated from the cardboard, which is extremely complex, and not many recycling plants have this capability meaning most cups go to landfill. This is an issue that is set to continue unless we change our habits. How can we fix it? By changing to a cup that is properly recyclable, or by investing in new specialized facilities.

Alternatively you could buy your own reusable cup, however, the energy and resources to manufacture these may outweigh the benefits. It has been said that in order to gain an environmental benefit over a takeaway cup you must reuse your cup until it reaches the end of its life, which could be between 1000-3000 washes. Are you ready to commit to using a single reusable cup for the next 8 years?

Something to be discussed at the water cooler…what type of cups does that have?

 

 

Parental leave

Until recently, new parents received paid parental leave for just 18 weeks, one of the lowest allowances in the OCED. Parliament originally voted to increase paid parental leave to 26 weeks back in 2016, however the previous Government vetoed the change. The increase will now take place incrementally, with the first increase from 18 to 22 weeks applicable to babies born or due from 1 July 2018, and a further extension to 26 weeks expected from 1 July 2020. The change also applies to those adopting, or becoming primary carer for a child.

The maximum payment has remained at $538.55 before tax, however it is hoped that the increased leave period will benefit families more than just financially. It is hoped there will be a positive impact on parental bonding with their newborn, and will also assist with the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of breastfeeding up to six months of age.

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