Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Work underway for beverage container return scheme

Work has begun to develop a beverage container return scheme for New Zealand announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage made at the WasteMINZ Conference in Hamilton today.

“Citizens, councils and stakeholders have been calling for a well-designed container return scheme to recover the millions of beverage containers used each year so they can be re-used and recycled. Today I’m pleased to announce that work is underway to design a fit-for-purpose scheme for New Zealand,” said Eugenie Sage.

“A container return scheme would change the way New Zealanders see beverage containers. They would again become something of value, and we would see increased recycling and new opportunities for refilling. When consumers recycle their drink bottles, they would get a deposit back, which incentivises higher recycling rates.”

“This is the latest step in the Government’s plan to recharge New Zealand’s recycling system.

“What we are announcing today is an agreement to start the investigation and design stage for a CRS – or container return scheme – learning from the best international models but designed to meet New Zealand’s geographic and societal needs.

“The Container Return Scheme (CRS) project will help New Zealanders to make a difference in reducing waste. A container return scheme would require beverage containers - such as plastic PET bottles - to carry a refundable deposit, for example 10 to 20 cents (or more). The deposit is redeemed when the container is returned to a collection depot or other drop-off point.”

An estimated two billion glass, plastic, aluminium, paperboard and other single use drink containers are consumed each year in New Zealand. While many containers are recovered and recycled, too many others end up in landfills, or as litter on streets and in streams, the beach and other public spaces.

“Overseas experience shows a refundable deposit puts the value back into recycling and results in a big increase in returned containers. A scheme could lift recovery and recycling rates for numbers of beverage containers in New Zealand from around 45 percent – 58 percent to 80 percent, or more.”

There are now at least 40 CRS schemes operating globally. Most Australian states have a CRS as do parts of Europe and the United States.

The Ministry for the Environment received a joint Waste Minimisation Fund application for the design and development of a national CRS from the Auckland Council and Marlborough District Council. The project will be supported by Government funding of nearly $1 million ($966,000) from the Waste Minimisation Fund.

The successful application will see the two councils work with the Ministry for the Environment and representatives from the beverage, packaging and recycling industries, councils, retailers, charitable organisations, Māori, consumer representatives, and product stewardship groups.

The project will design a comprehensive CRS proposal for New Zealand to be presented to the Government by August 2020.

“In developing New Zealand’s own CRS, the project will look at scheme design overseas, the latest technology, how to best encourage new innovation to optimise performance, opportunities to invest in manufacturing and regional development, alignment with Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Te Ao Māori and potential climate change benefits,” Eugenie Sage said.

In addition to minimising waste and increasing recycling, the project aims to:

• make it easier and convenient to return containers anywhere in New Zealand

• design a solution that is cost effective and efficient

• improve the quality and marketability of recyclables .

• create new opportunities for employment, community participation and fund-raising for charities.

One of the considerations in designing a CRS will be how it will affect existing kerbside collections. Kerbside collections would not disappear, but a scheme is expected to affect the types and amounts of recyclables collected.

“A well designed beverage container return scheme would be a win for consumers, the environment, councils, and recycling industries.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Whakaari / White Island Eruption: Body recovery operation

The NZ Defence Force recovered the bodies of six people who tragically died in Monday’s eruption on Whakaari/White Island and will support efforts to recover the bodies of two others in the hope there is resolution for those families. .. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Welfare Vs Infrastructure Spending

If New Zealand has a pressing need to stimulate its flagging economy, it seems very weird that the government is choosing a $12 billion package of infrastructure spending – mainly on road and rail – that by definition, will take a very long time to deliver their stimulatory benefits ... More>>

New Reports: "Immediate Commitment To Doing Justice Differently"

Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and Te Tangi o te Manawanui: Recommendations for Reform from the Chief Victims Advisor. Both recommend a fresh approach to the way criminal justice has been approached... More>>


"Heart-Breaking And Confronting": Surgical Mesh Restorative Justice Report

Minister Genter: “People have talked about losing the life they had enjoyed before surgical mesh harmed them – the loss of a steady job, the ability to exercise, a loving relationship in some cases. Others described the chronic pain they experienced..." More>>


Law Foundation: Government Decryption Powers Must Respect Privacy

The power of government to order users and companies to decrypt encrypted data and devices needs stronger privacy protections and additional safeguards, according to a study published by researchers at the University of Waikato. More>>

Latest 'Discussion Doc': National On Healthcare

National has today released our eighth Discussion Document which focusses on health and outlines a range of policies which will enable more Kiwis to access high-quality healthcare, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says. More>>


Select Committee Report: Combatting Foreign Election Interference

MPs have finally delivered their recommendations to combat foreign interference in elections in a long awaited and much delayed report. More>>

Mosque Attacks: Names Of Arresting Officers Released

Police are now in the position to name the two officers involved in the arrest of the alleged gunman responsible for the attacks on the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques on March 15. More>>

Big, Bold, Permanent Change Needed: Children's Commissioner On 2019 Child Poverty Monitor

“I want to see family incomes dramatically raised by increasing benefits and making the minimum wage a living wage. And the Government needs to move much faster at increasing the supply of social housing..." More>>






InfoPages News Channels