New Zealand companies participating in Packaging Product Stewardship Scheme report 93% diversion rate of packaging waste from landfill in 2012, report says; 89% of companies have internal packaging re-use systems, 83% use packaging with recycled content

AUCKLAND, New Zealand , December 19, 2012 (press release) – The Packaging Council of New Zealand (PAC.NZ) has today released the Year Two Progress Report for its 'Packaging Product Stewardship Scheme'.

PAC.NZ’s Executive Director, Paul Curtis, said, “In just the second year since the scheme’s launch, we can report an impressive 93% diversion rate of packaging waste from landfill by scheme members within their operations. Scheme members have also put considerable effort into embedding the principles of the ‘waste hierarchy’ (reduce, re-use, recycle) into their operations:

83% have put an internal programme in place to reduce the amount of packaging waste they send to landfill and to increase packaging diversion from landfill
89% have put packaging re-use systems in place and 83% use packaging with recycled content”

“We launched our Packaging Product Stewardship Scheme in 2010 and these results show the excellent progress made by the scheme members at the end of the second reporting year”, Paul Curtis said.

PAC.NZ’s Packaging Product Stewardship Scheme is a voluntary industry initiative which demonstrates industry’s continued willingness to act responsibly to reduce the environmental impact of packaging in New Zealand.

The Packaging Product Stewardship Scheme has three key goals:

improve packaging design and systems to reduce packaging waste,
increasing reuse and recycled content of packaging, and
enhancing consumer awareness and understanding of sustainable packaging.

Members of the Packaging Product Stewardship Scheme report annually to PAC.NZ on their performance against the scheme’s policies, procedures and key performance indicators, which includes adopting the principles of its Code of Practice for Packaging Design, Education and Procurement.

Paul Curtis said, “While great progress has already been made by scheme members, we have also identified a number of specific areas for improvement around areas such a target setting, education and improved packaging design processes. These areas will be a focus for the foreseeable future and will be part of the overall waste minimisation targets we will establish when we apply next year to have the scheme accredited by the Government under the Waste Minimisation Act”.

Richard Manaton, President of PAC.NZ said, "I have set the challenge to PAC.NZ to achieve formal accreditation of our Packaging Product Stewardship Scheme by the Ministry for the Environment. This will substantially lift the visibility of the stewardship scheme amongst our key stakeholders and observers."



Top line areas for future improvement

67% of scheme members reported having a specific internal target to reduce packaging waste to landfill and 56% have a specific internal target to increase packaging diversion from landfill.

Whilst scheme members can already demonstrate an impressive rate of packaging waste diversion, a future focus will be for more scheme members to have internal targets in place.

67% of scheme members have adopted the principles of the Code of Practice for Packaging Design, Education and Procurement

The Code of Practice for Design, Education and Procurement provides a framework for assessing packaging against the principles of the Waste Hierarchy. More scheme members adopting the principles of the Code of Practice will lead to less packaging waste overall.

61% of scheme members provide on-pack information to help identify packaging material type and 72% provide other information to the consumer / customer about their role in waste minimisation

Education is a key element of the scheme. Packaging recycling rates can be further improved by more scheme members identifying the packaging material type on pack and by providing enough information to consumers / customers to help them make informed decisions.

39% of scheme members were engaged in community activities / programmes over the last year related to packaging

Packaging recovery rates can be lifted further by more scheme members taking direct action in the community across a range of activities, such as investing in infrastructure and education.



Contact:
Paul Curtis
Executive Director
Packaging Council of New Zealand Inc.
Email: p.curtis@packaging.org.nz
Ph: +64 (0)9 271 4044
Mobile: +64 (0)274 286718





Note to editors

In 2010 we launched our Packaging Product Stewardship Scheme, which meets the requirements of Part 2 of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008. This scheme is a voluntary industry initiative which demonstrates industry’s continued willingness to act responsibly to reduce the environmental impact of packaging in New Zealand. The scheme builds on the successes of two five year 'Packaging Accords', signed by PAC.NZ and the Minister for the Environment in 1996 and 2004 respectively.

The Packaging Product Stewardship Scheme has three key goals:

improve packaging design and systems to reduce packaging waste,
increasing reuse and recycled content of packaging, and
enhancing consumer awareness and understanding of sustainable packaging.

Members of the Packaging Product Stewardship Scheme report annually to PAC.NZ on their performance against the scheme’s policies, procedures and key performance indicators, which includes adopting the principles of our Code of Practice for Packaging Design, Education and Procurement.

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