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Look At Environmental Packaging Award Winners

Industry Asks Select Committee Hearing Renamed Waste Bill To Take A Look At Environmental Packaging Award winners

The Packaging Council invites the Select Committee hearing the proposed amendments to the newly named Waste Minimisation and Resource Recovery Bill to take a look at the winners of the recent Environmental Packaging Awards.

Paul Curtis, Executive Director of the Packaging Council said that his members, who represent over 75% of the country's top 100 food and grocery brands, are annoyed that the Greens and Government continue to makes producer the scapegoats for waste without acknowledging the huge investment industry is making already.

"The Bill is being returned today to the Select Committee with claims that the Bill 'creates a motive for manufacturers to redesign their products and packaging to reduce the amount of waste created.' Where were these MPs when we announced recently a huge increase in recycling and celebrated the packaging excellence awards? Recycling is now at 57% across all packaging materials consistent with the recycling rates in the much larger and more regulated markets of the UK, Australia and Europe."

"Just last month the Acting Minister for the Environment presented environmental packaging awards to small, medium and large organisations all showing the major improvements that have been made in the environmental design and resource recovery of packaging. Producers have made major investments in this area and recycling rates across every sector have improved dramatically in the three years since the voluntary Packaging Accord was signed. It is disappointing that industry's achievements don't get a mention. If the facts don't fit we appear to prefer to ignore them."

"417,000 tonnes of packaging was recycled last year - a massive 67,500 tonnes more than the year before. To put this in perspective, this increase equates to an annual saving of around 33,000 tonnes of CO2 or taking around 8,000 cars off the road ."

"Three years ago we signed a Packaging Accord which sets targets for industry, local and central government and recycling operators to increase recycling. This is a joint effort requiring industry to minimise the environmental impacts of packaging and for government to improve access to recycling facilities. Yet we continue to hear calls for industry to come to the party - the Packaging Council believes it is not just on the guest list but actually in the party management team."

"None of the amendments made are a surprise because the Bill in its original form was unworkable and we welcome the certainty that a Government backed Bill will provide particularly because it will now get the rigour of a cost benefit analysis. The waste levy component was expected, although we remain sceptical that it would be an effective mechanism to drive behaviour change and are concerned this tax would increase the cost of recycling and could be a demotivating factor for business to go the extra mile. We are pleased however to see that the emotional pull of container deposit legislation has been reined in by common sense."

Packaging Council members manufacture over 75% of New Zealand's top 100 food and grocery brands contributing over NZ$17 billion to the local economy.


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