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Packaging accord vital for the environment

15 November 2007 Media Statement

Packaging accord vital for the environment

New Zealand industry is listening to peoples’ concerns and helping to reduce waste to protect the environment, according to a government report released today.

Associate Environment Minister Nanaia Mahuta says the New Zealand Packaging Accord, now entering its fourth year, plays a crucial part in dealing with one of the key environmental issues for Aotearoa/New Zealand – reducing packaging waste.

“It is great to be able to celebrate what has been another successful year for the Packaging Accord, and what can happen when key stakeholders – councils, recyclers, manufacturers, retailers and government – work together,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

The minister was speaking at the release of the third annual Packaging Accord progress report in Auckland.

“It is great to note that the overall recovery of packaging has hit 57 per cent, which is significantly higher than last year.

“The Accord is working well, and this is a reflection of the commitment made by Accord members. We should celebrate this.”

Nanaia Mahuta last week highlighted the government’s major sustainability initiatives at the Waste Management Institute of New Zealand Conference.

The goal of the Accord is for everyone to waste less and be more efficient when making, using and recovering packaging materials.

Under the arrangement, producers, brand owners, retailers and importers take responsibility for what happens to their packaged products throughout their lifecycle - from manufacture to use, to recycling and eventual disposal. Also involved are packaging manufacturers, councils and businesses that collect used packaging material for recycling, and consumers who buy and throw away packaging.

The Accord is run by the Environment Ministry, the Packaging Council of NZ, Recycling Operators of New Zealand and Local Government New Zealand to bring together brand owners, retailers, importers, manufacturers, recyclers and local government.

More information: www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/sustainable-industry/initiatives/packaging/

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