One Size Must Not Fit All in New Plastic Packaging Regulation

a lone waste management worker walks toward a pile of plastic waste

With a shared commitment to driving better outcomes for New Zealand and New Zealanders, Packaging New Zealand welcomes Minister Sage’s investment in waste minimisation.

However, Packaging New Zealand’s Executive Director, Sharon Humphreys said that when it comes to packaging, far more detail and expert input is required than has been provided around the Government’s plans for regulated product stewardship.

“The broad targeting of ‘plastic packaging’  as one of six products in today’s priority announcement suggests a lack of understanding of the full suite of issues that legitimately form part of the determination of a package as ‘fit for purpose’,” said Humphreys.

“This includes determining the right material to use.”

The priority for members of Packaging New Zealand is the effective, safe, efficient delivery of goods into the New Zealand and global markets. Humphreys said the organisation will be taking the opportunity to have significant input into the design process of any mandatory product stewardship schemes - particularly given the “limited success” of the voluntary accredited schemes.

“Putting the responsibility for what happens to products at the end of their useful life on manufacturers, importers, retailers and users, risks unintended consequences such as driving up costs, and the possibility of less sustainable outcomes overall.

“Our industry knowledge and expertise will be essential to identify how environmental and economic harm can be avoided or mitigated to meet the broad social outcomes desired by all of society.”