Everyone! Sh*t just got real!
On Friday 9 August 2019, Minister Eugenie Sage MP announced the Government will be consulting on a proposal to declare a range of problematic waste streams “priority products”, by the end of this year! This would mean that a product stewardship scheme for those products MUST be developed. The proposed products are:
- Electrical and electronic products
- Agrichemicals and their containers
- Farm plastics
- Packaging (including single-use plastic packaging – YAY – and beverage containers – which opens the door to start talking seriously about a bottle deposit scheme – FINALLY!)
This is a BIG deal! Like, super big! Remember all those grumpy posts we’ve done about lack of substantive action on waste? Remember that section of our talk where we mention how the regulatory powers in the Waste Minimisation Act have virtually never been used??
Well, this is it, people! To read more about product stewardship, check out the New Zealand Product Stewardship Council‘s website.
This consultation stands out from similar ones in 2009 and 2014 that went nowhere because:
- The consultation sets out a proposed timeframe for priority products to be declared (before end of this year) and for product stewardship schemes to be developed (1-3 years).
- The consultation doc also proposes Ministerial guidelines for those who design the product stewardship schemes to follow, which includes targets for waste minimisation and a requirement that schemes prioritise actions up the waste hierarchy.
- The consultation doc proposes a co-design framework that will include a broad range of stakeholders to design a scheme, including industry, recyclers, local authorities, and community groups representing the public interest.
- The consultation doc includes packaging and beverage containers.
Make sure you submit and get your voice heard!
While this is an exciting announcement, consultation is only the first step, so we encourage everyone who supports these proposals to take the time to make a submission. The consultation is open for six weeks (until 4 October 2019, 5pm).
Let’s make our community voice heard loud and clear! The Rubbish Trip will be making our submission public to help others make submissions too.
Huge recognition to those who have been pushing for this moment for some time, including Warren Snow, Trisia Farrelly, New Zealand Product Stewardship Council, Zero Waste Network Aotearoa, The Kiwi Bottle Drive, Marty Hoffart, Para Kore, Denise Roche and SO MANY MORE people and organisations.
THANK YOU to Minister Sage for showing leadership on this issue, it’s so exciting. And thanks to the Ministry for the Environment for all the mahi that’s gone into this.