The launch of a public consultation by the Ministry for the Environment to identify products that should be included in product stewardship schemes is being welcomed by LGNZ, who say that it’s time for a mandatory scheme to incentivise waste minimisation and diversion from landfill.
“The New Zealand public are subsidising waste producers who churn out cheap, largely unrecyclable packaging, plastics, e-waste and other materials which have a limited future in a circular economy,” says LGNZ president Dave Cull.
“The old saying is ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ – we need to focus on that first one to make the biggest dent in New Zealand’s waste problem.”
“Mandatory product stewardship means there’s a plan for the safe disposal or recycling of goods. It puts in place a plan, particularly for the most harmful or voluminous products, that will create new business opportunities and deliver better environmental outcomes.”
In 2018, councils passed a remit asking LGNZ to advocate for the government to declare tyres, e-waste, agricultural chemicals and plastics as priority products under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008, as well as another remit urging a mandatory product stewardship scheme for tyres.
“Local government is at the forefront of dealing with waste and recycling, but it’s vital that the legislation incentivises the best possible onshore facilities and outcomes.”
“We see mandatory product stewardship as being one piece of the puzzle, along with the adoption of a nationwide, strategic approach for recyclables and for the waste disposal levy to cover more landfills, so that there is more funding for onshore recycling facilities.”