The Waste Minimisation Act 20081 provides a regulatory framework for the establishment of voluntary product stewardship schemes. Product stewardship moves responsibility for waste to those involved in the production and supply of the product and indirectly to the consumer by ensuring the costs of its disposal are reflected in the purchase price. It involves those who know the most about the product – the businesses who make and sell it – in designing the solution.
Plastics New Zealand supports the principle of industry-led, voluntary product stewardship and accepts that all parties involved in a product’s life cycle need to share the responsibility for the environmental impact of the product.
As an organisation we have been actively promoting product stewardship for several years:-
1 The Waste Minimization Act 2008
There are some excellent examples of the Plastics Industry taking the lead in developing voluntary product stewardship approaches for their products. These include:
Plastic Pipe Recycling: Recovery of rigid PVC products through plumbing outlets
Recovery of rigid PVC pipes through plumbing outlets to be recycled and reused locally. Iplex, Marley and RX Plastics, all collect and recycle PVC pipe scrap. PVC is a thermoplastic that is easily melted and reformed into new products. Comparisons of the embodied energy and carbon emissions from New Zealand’s PVC and Polyethylene (PE) pipe against other alternative materials demonstrate that PVC is a sustainable choice.
Further details at http://www.plastics.org.nz/pipa/environmental.asp
Agpac – Recycling Farm Plastics
Agpac has developed practical product stewardship solutions to recycle plastic baleage wrap which is used as a crop protection material on farms as well as silage pit covers, feed and fertiliser bags, plastic packaging and shrink wrap.
More details can be found on Agpac’s website: http://agpac.co.nz/products.php?cid=14&type=P
Agrecovery – a voluntary product stewardship programme for on-farm plastics and unwanted chemicals.
The Agrecovery Foundation holds contracts with an increasing number of brand owners from the following industries: crop protection, animal health, biological protection, dairy hygiene, silage wrap and crop protection net. As at February 2012 the number of brand owners contracted to the programme was 59.
Agrecovery currently provides five nationwide programmes:
• Containers – recycling of plastic agrichemical and animal health containers from 1-60 litres
• Drums – recovery of plastic and steel drums from 61-1000 litres
• Chemicals – disposal of unwanted and expired chemicals
• Wrap – recycling of silage wrap, pit covers and some feed bags
• Net – recycling of crop protection net
The Agrecovery product stewardship model is consistent with international best practice and is affiliated to Crop Life International Container Management Group.
The programme’s operational elements are accredited to the international environmental standard ISO 14001 and Agrecovery's container and chemicals programmes are accredited by the Minister for the Environment as Product Stewardship Programmes under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008.
Farmers and growers benefit from participation and compliance records to assist with their national and international market access requirements
More details at: http://www.agrecovery.co.nz/