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Paper Turns over a New Leaf

MEDIA RELEASE
(Attention Chief Reporters – for immediate release)

Minister Praises Impressive Achievements : Paper Turns over a New Leaf

At the recent AGM of the New Zealand Paperboard Packaging Association (NZPPA)
The Minister for the Environment , the Honourable David Benson-Pope praised the Association and its members for the impressive achievements they had completed over the last two years. These included encompassing the NZ Packaging Accord; the development of an industry Code of Practice; unique research into attitudes to packaging, recycling and the environment; research into regional waste flows; the development of a company environmental sustainability audit and action plan.

Speaking to a meeting of the New Zealand Paperboard Packaging Association in Auckland he described their achievement of 72 per cent recovery of paperboard packaging for the year to March 2005 as impressive.

The paper packaging sector collects and recycles over 200,000 thousand tonnes of paper waste every year and is committed under the NZ packing Accord to a target of 70% of paper packaging being recycled. The paper based packaging sector has, after a concerted effort, exceeded its target and recovered 206,353 tonnes in the year, a 72% recovery rate. This rate of paperboard packaging recovered or stopped from going to landfill, is one of the highest in the world and compares well with the 50 -60% obtained in environmental conscious countries like UK and Germany.

Mr Benson-Pope said “ this success exceeds the Accord target of 70 per cent by 2008, set for the paper sector. Although I appreciate that the paper sector enjoyed favourable market conditions during this period, it is certainly an effort to be celebrated. The NZPPA’s “Together we can close the Loop” project is an example of smart thinking by the paper industry demonstrating great business sense.

"You certainly make a mockery of the recent comment by Green's Environment Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos when he said the present voluntary Packaging Accord has proved to be a 'remarkable failure'.

I would also like to congratulate the wider paper sector for the formation of the New Zealand Paper Forum this year, enabling the broader paper sector to work collectively on environmental sustainability. It is an initiative to be commended and I will be keen to see developments through the forum including the effects that this will have on recycling.”

The President of the New Zealand Paperboard Packaging Association (NZPPA), Mr Bill Berry, speaking for the paper based packaging sector, confirms that company members within the Association have worked very hard on environmental sustainability and that the Accord is in fact working very well.

NZPPA have just completed the to March 2006 recovery figures and announces that there has again been a 72% recovery rate. This is a excellent effort as the actual tonnes of waste recovery of 209,922 tonnes have kept pace with the increased production of paperboard and paperboard packaging.

“To reach 72% again this year is a very pleasing result when you consider the widespread use of paper based materials for food wrapping, fire lighting, long term storage etc makes 100% recovery impossible” said Mr Berry. “Paper based materials have the advantage that they are derived from a naturally renewable resource (plantation pines) and are
ultimately biodegradable.”

ENDS

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