Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Experts welcome Govt’s consultation on product stewardship

Friday 9 August 2019


Zero waste experts welcome Govt’s consultation on product stewardship schemes for problematic waste products

The New Zealand Product Stewardship Council (NZPSC), the Zero Waste Academy, and Zero Waste Network Aotearoa welcome this morning’s announcement by Associate Minister for the Environment, Eugenie Sage, that the Government will consult on a proposal to regulate certain problematic waste streams.

“This is one of the most significant steps forward in New Zealand’s waste policy in over a decade” says NZPSC Coordinator, Hannah Blumhardt.

The consultation will consider whether the Associate Minister for the Environment should declare various products ‘priority products’ under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008. The proposed products are tyres, electrical and electronic products, agrichemicals and their containers, refrigerants, farm plastics, and packaging (including single-use plastic packaging and beverage containers).

Under the Act, any product declared a “priority product” must be regulated by a product stewardship scheme. Product stewardship schemes make manufacturers (and also other groups, like suppliers, retailers and consumers) responsible for any waste and environmental harm their products cause, and for ensuring effective reduction, reuse and recycling of those products.

“Currently, New Zealand has no regulated product stewardship schemes, so councils, ratepayers, and the natural environment are picking up the slack for managing all this waste. This is both unfair, and a factor in New Zealand’s comparatively poor recovery and recycling rates and shamefully high per capita rates of waste to landfill” says Blumhardt.

“When manufacturers are responsible for the waste their products cause, they not only foot a greater share of the bill, they’re also more likely to redesign their products to cause less waste in the first place.”

“We’re very pleased that the Government is proposing to use its powers under the Waste Minimisation Act to regulate some of New Zealand’s most problematic waste streams” says Jonathon Hannon, Coordinator of Massey University’s Zero Waste Academy.

“It’s great to see packaging included in the proposal, given significant community concern about this waste stream. The reference to beverage containers is encouraging as it opens the door for a nationwide bottle deposit scheme to be formally considered – something that communities and councils across New Zealand have been campaigning for for decades.”

“Right now, we recover only 30-40 percent of beverage containers for recycling and reuse, but it doesn’t have to be this way - with a well-designed scheme that figure could be 80-90 percent” says Hannon.

Similarly, New Zealand recovers only 30 percent of used tyres­—compared to 80-90 percent in countries with product stewardship schemes—and only 2 percent of our electronics and electrical products. Almost all farm plastics and agrichemical containers are never recovered – particularly worrying given burying and burning rural waste remains common in New Zealand.

“With increasing data revealing that burned and buried farm plastics (e.g. silage wrap) degrades air and water quality and the health of agricultural soils, it is pleasing to see these included as proposed priority products” says Dr Trisia Farrelly, member of the NZPSC and Co-Director of Massey University’s Political Ecology Research Centre.

Chair of Zero Waste Network Aotearoa, Marty Hoffart, says that simple measures mentioned in the proposal document, such as including an environmental charge on priority products put on the market, “could have big effects on New Zealand’s recycling statistics”.

The consultation document proposes that any product stewardship scheme be co-designed with major stakeholders, including industry, recyclers, local authorities, and community groups representing public interest.

"The proposal to ensure a wide range of voices are at the design table bodes well for some high-functioning schemes that level the playing field and achieve ambitious waste minimisation targets and wide buy-in" says Hoffart.

Although previous Governments held similar consultations in 2009 and 2014, no priority product declarations resulted, despite public submissions overwhelmingly supporting product stewardship schemes.

“We can’t afford for this consultation to fall by the wayside as previous consultations have. So, we’re pleased to see the Government proposing to declare some priority products before the year’s end” says Blumhardt.

“We urge all New Zealanders keen to see the Government take action on waste, to participate in the consultation process and make a submission to ensure the community’s voice is heard.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

ETS Entry Delayed To 2025: "World-First" Plan On Farm Emissions

The Government and farming sector leaders have agreed to a world-first partnership to reduce primary sector emissions in one of the most significant developments on climate action in New Zealand's history.

Today farming leaders and the Government announced a plan to join forces to develop practical and cost-effective ways to measure and price emissions at the farm level by 2025, so that 100 per cent of New Zealand's emissions will be on the path downwards. More>>

 

RNZ Live Updates: SkyCity Fire Fighting Continues

The fire at the centre across from SkyCity in Auckland has been burning since about 1pm on Tuesday and firefighters are allowing the roof to be destroyed by flames so they can get better access to the building to fight the fire. Flames are still visible this morning and smoke is billowing out. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Simon Bridges And Political Correctness

Having failed all year at being a credible alternative Prime Minister, National leader Simon Bridges has lowered his aspirational target this week to something more within his range. More>>

Bullying: Police Commissioner Announces Review

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has today announced an independent review of the systems and processes NZ Police has in place to address complaints of bullying. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Post-Cab: Now We Are Two

Questions covered Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters' comments on the potential closure of Mediaworks' television channels, the Auckland light rail planning process, the select committee report on the Zero Carbon Bill and its methane target range... More>>

Court Issues New Guildines: Revamp Of Meth Sentencing Welcomed

The court accepted submissions by both the New Zealand Bar Association and the New Zealand Law Society that rather than solely focusing on the quantity of meth involved, there should be greater focus on the role of the offender. More>>

ALSO:

'Armed Response Teams': Armed Police "Will Cause American-Style Shootings"

The Police Commissioner's announcement that squadcars of officers with automatic rifles will patrol New Zealand's streets is dangerous and unnecessary, according to the criminal justice community organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa. The ... More>>

ALSO:

Control Orders: Amnesty Says Don't Rush Terrorism Bill

"The problem is, we often see the word “terrorism” being applied broadly by oppressive regimes to detain innocent people who're simply rallying for a better life." More>>

ALSO:

Expert Reaction: $17 million To Fight Online Extremist Content

The Department of Internal Affairs will double its work investigating and preventing violent extremism online. Funding will also help bolster the Chief Censor's work to make fast decisions about harmful content. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels