Product Stewardship (sometimes called Extended Producer Responsibility) is when producers, brand owners, importers, retailers and consumers accept responsibility for reducing a product’s environmental impact. To date, New Zealand has had a voluntary approach to product stewardship although the Waste Minimisation Act allows for the government to declare a waste stream as a priority product, which means a mandatory product stewardship scheme would be implemented and all producers, brand owners, importers, retailers and consumers of that product would participate in it.
A Plain English guide to product stewardship can be accessed here.
On 9 August 2019 the Associate Minister for the Environment the Hon Eugenie Sage announced a consultation document on the Ministry for the Environment’s proposal for regulated product stewardship for six priority products: tyres, electrical and electronic products, agrichemicals and their containers, refrigerants and other synthetic greenhouse gases, farm plastics, and packaging.
Consultation closed on Friday 4 October at 5pm.
WasteMINZ surveyed members via the TAO and Product Stewardship sector groups to ascertain their views and made a submission based on the results of these surveys.
In May 2018, we surveyed WasteMINZ members to determine their views on product stewardship. 101 responses were received from both individual and organisational members of WasteMINZ.
We have recently established a Product Stewardship Sector Group to advance the member priorities established through this research, primarily advancing mandatory schemes for:
The steering committee consists of the following WasteMINZ members.
|Alec McNeil||Marlborough District Council|
|Alexandra Kirkham||Auckland Council|
|Francesca Lipscombe||The New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust|
|Laurence Zwimpfer||eDay Trust|
|Marty Hoffart||Waste Watchers|
|Rebecca Maiden||Tauranga City Council|
|Sarah Clare (Chair)||3R Group Ltd|
The steering committee has agreed on a strategic plan for 2019- 2020, which can be viewed here.
The steering committee has developed a work plan for 2019-2020, which can be viewed here.
How can I access more information?
To find out more about this sector group or to join (so that you can receive information about the sector group), please contact our Product Stewardship Sector Group Coordinator Sarah Pritchett or call her on 021 08254 606.
The steering committee has produced a position paper that proposes the scope and principles for a mandatory ewaste product stewardship scheme for Aotearoa New Zealand. This position paper can be viewed here.
Vicktoria Blake’s Masters thesis on the ewaste management behaviours of household consumers in Whangarei was published in 2019. The thesis can be viewed here.
The eWaste Watch Institute of Australia has articles and resources on ewaste. Click here to visit their website.
Vector has been collaborating with a number of business who have large lithium-ion batteries (stationary and mobile) in their value chain. This Battery Leaders Group has contributed to research commissioned by Vector on circular economy opportunities for lithium-ion batteries, with a view to responsible end-of-life management.
The group, whose members include Audi, BMW, Toyota, Waste Management, Sims Pacific Metals and the Scrap Metals Recycling Association of NZ, is now being expanded to a wider Battery Industry Group (B.I.G.).
B.I.G. will kick off in the coming few weeks and aims to deliver, within 12 months, a proposal for a self-financing Product Stewardship Scheme for large batteries.
The Scheme will be:
B.I.G. is likely to test end-of-life solutions in parallel to inform the Product Stewardship Scheme proposal, and will also develop practical safety guidance around use, transport, storage and end-of-life management of used lithium-ion batteries.
The core B.I.G. group will commit their time, and potentially funds, to help draft the Product Stewardship Scheme. A wider group of experts and stakeholders will be invited to actively comment on drafts of the proposed scheme.
Please contact Juhi Shareef, who is on the WasteMINZ Product Stewardship Steering Committee, if you’d like to be part of this wider group: [email protected]
AgRecovery recycles persistent rural farm waste such as agrichemicals and their containers and farm plastics (such as mulch covers and fertiliser and seed bags). AgRecovery is trialling the Rural One Stop Shop approach where farmers are able to get rid of all of these waste materials at the same time and know that they are going to be recycled. To hear AgRecovery’s Simon Andrew talking about the Rural One Stop Shop approach click here.
AgRecovery has two product stewardship advisory groups – one for agrichemicals and their containers and one for mulch covers and fertiliser and seed bags. For more information please contact Brian Vass: [email protected]
Plasback is a voluntary product stewardship scheme that was set up in 2006 to recycle farm plastics. For more information click here.
Tyrewise is an industry developed voluntary product stewardship programme for tyres made up of tyre industry stakeholders. To read the Tyrewise Case Study, click here. To visit the Tyrewise website click here.
Drawing from their Ministry for the Environment accredited product stewardship scheme, Fuji Xerox New Zealand has created a free step-by-step Product Stewardship Roadmap to help businesses develop product stewardship schemes as a first step to a circular economy. The Roadmap shares case studies and other helpful resources.
There are currently 12 Ministry for the Environment accredited voluntary schemes. Their profiles can be viewed here.
Information about how to apply for your own product stewardship scheme to be accredited is available from the Ministry for the Environment.
The Associate Minister for the Environment recently announced plans to implement product stewardship schemes for problematic waste streams including vehicle tyres, e-waste (starting with lithium-ion batteries), agrichemicals and synthetic greenhouse gases.
The EDay Trust advocates for sustainable and responsible e-waste collection and recycling in New Zealand.
The New Zealand Product Stewardship Council is an independent voice for effective product stewardship on behalf of the wider community.
Kiwi Bottle Drive is an organisation that is campaigning for a container deposit scheme.
A Right to Repair working group has been formed to investigate whether Aotearoa needs Right to Repair legislation, to complement an ewaste product stewardship scheme. While a product stewardship scheme will ensure that ewaste produced will be repurposed or recycled, it won’t necessarily address issues such as planned obsolescence (when a manufacturer purposely ensures a short lifespan for an appliance or device).