eDay Trust Welcomes Gov Commitment to Product Stewardship
The release today of a discussion document by the Hon Eugenie Sage on priority waste products is a welcome step towards product stewardship for electronic waste as well as other critical waste streams. In 2017, a United Nations report identified New Zealand as one of the world’s largest generators of electronic waste and as the only OECD country without any national regulations.
“This is an excellent signal of the Government’s commitment to product stewardship,” said Laurence Zwimpfer, Chair of the eDay Trust, “but we are disappointed the process is going to take so long.”
The Discussion document proposes an eight-week period for comment on what the priority products should be and then a further two years of consultation on proposed regulations. “There have been three prior consultations in 2005, 2009 and 2014. All identified electronic waste as a priority product,” said Mr Zwimpfer. “So it would have been nice to skip this step and get on with the most important task of developing regulations.”
“The Minister has frequently spoken of the need for product stewardship schemes for electronic waste, often suggesting that Lithium-Ion batteries should be a priority. We welcome the proposal in the Discussion document to consider all categories of waste electrical and electronic equipment as priority products,” said Mr Zwimpfer.
The Discussion document proposes a 2-year timeframe for consultation with sector groups and the co-design of WMA regulations. “We think this is too long, given the amount of effort already invested by industry groups. We call on the Minister to shorten up this timeframe and set a fixed date for product stewardship schemes to be implemented,” Mr Zwimpfer concluded.
The eDay New Zealand Trust
The eDay New Zealand Trust was established
in 2010 to promote the reuse and recycling of electronic
waste. eDay’s primary focus at the time was to manage
annual ewaste collection events for computer equipment. In
2010, 18,274 cars dropped off 869 tonnes of computer waste
at over 60 locations throughout New Zealand and the Cook
Islands. Despite the evident success of the collection
events, the Government withdrew its support in 2011, citing
a preference for “everyday” collection facilities rather
than a one-day annual event. The eDay Trust remains
committed to a long-term compulsory product stewardship