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Timing of Container Scheme announcement comes as a surprise

The Brewers Association of New Zealand, New Zealand Food and Grocery Council and Spirits New Zealand express surprise today at the announcement that work has begun on the development of a beverage container return scheme when government is still consulting on the matter.

“The announcement by Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage seems at odds with the Ministry for the Environment consultation on Priority Products currently underway effecting this very matter,” said Brewers Association Executive Director, Dylan Firth.

“This consultation was launched in late August and is yet to conclude,” he said.

Spirits NZ Chief Executive Robert Brewer said it was disappointing and a little confusing as to how the just announced development could take place without first completing the current consultation.
“As we understand it Auckland and Marlborough Councils are being funded by government to work out how a container return scheme would operate and how much cost it would add to industry and the consumer,” said Mr Brewer.

“However, we find it difficult to see how Councils will do this when the current consultation on priority products would have significant impact on how - if at all - beverage containers are treated in any future design of such a scheme,” he said.

“The brewing and spirits sectors have been long committed to improving the recycling rates of packaging with a large proportion of the sector being part of the Glass Packaging Forum who have to date provided over $2 million in grants to improve glass recycling rates,” Said Mr Firth and Mr Brewer.

“As stated by Minister Sage the design process will involve industry. The Brewers Association, New Zealand Food and Grocery Council and Spirits New Zealand as representatives of significant users of glass packaging look forward to being included directly in this process.”

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