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Making it mandatory: Expanding product stewardship in NZ

August 09, 2019

Making it mandatory: Expanding product stewardship in NZ

The Government wants to turn around New Zealand’s ‘rubbish’ record on waste.

And it is looking into product stewardship to do it. 

In a nutshell, product stewardship is where everyone involved (producers, brand owners, importers, retailers, consumers, collectors, and re-processers) in the lifespan of the product is called upon to take up the responsibility to reduce its environmental, health, and safety impacts.

Bottle deposit schemes are probably the most recognised examples of product stewardship.

Currently, product stewardship in NZ is voluntary (click here to read about the businesses that already taking responsibility for their products). However, under the Waste Minimisation Act, the Minister for the Environment can make stewardship mandatory for a product. 

And today, the Government announced its intention to do just that. 

“We want business, industry and the public to tell us which products they think need a stronger approach," 

"Consultation is the first step towards regulation, deciding which products are declared “priority products” and allowing mandatory regulation to be used," says Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage.  

Today is the beginning of a six-week nationwide consultation to identify the products and the industries this will affect. 

Some of the areas being considered are:

  • packaging, including beverage containers and plastic packaging
  • tyres
  • electrical and electronic products (e-waste), starting with lithium-ion
  • batteries
  • refrigerants and other synthetic greenhouse gases
  • agrichemicals and their containers
  • farm plastics

Want to have your say? You can do that here

For more information on the proposed priority products stewardship, click here

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