The scheme collects levies from companies that make or import glass containers, fill glass containers or sell glass containers in New Zealand. The levies raised are used to fund projects, research, infrastructure and educational programmes to increase the recycling and re-use of glass into either new glass containers or for alternative uses leading to a reduction in waste container glass to landfill.
Product Stewardship Scheme
Legislative FrameworkThe Waste Minimisation Act 2008 provides a regulatory framework for the establishment of product stewardship for key products. Most product stewardship schemes will be voluntary but mandatory schemes could be required where there is “significant advantage in having a product stewardship scheme, but this is either unlikely to be developed, or an existing voluntary scheme is not effective” (Waste Minimisation in New Zealand : A discussion document from the Ministry for the Environment).
Definition: Product stewardship
Product stewardship moves responsibility for waste to those involved in the production and supply of the product (and its packaging) 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.
ConstitutionMembers of the Forum have all signed written declarations confirming their commitment to the Glass Packaging Forum Constitution and automatically become members of the scheme.
Each member company has been listed in the application form to the Ministry for the Environment.
Representatives from local government, recyclers and community groups are represented in an expert advisory group to the Forum’s steering group to ensure that decisions with regard to funding and direction are also influenced by community recycling groups, recyclers and local government.
This levy is imposed on:
Producers of glass and importers of glass – both empty and filled
Glass fillers in New Zealand
Retailers of products in glass packaging
And is applied at each stage of the packaging cycle i.e. (a) container manufacture (b) container filling (c) containers sales. Each participating company pays a levy based on the weight of glass which they use in product or which they sell to customers.
The levy is used to fund objectives which deliver and improve glass recovery consistent with the glass recycling hierarchy as defined in the diagram Hierarchy of Glass Recycling’.
Duration of Scheme
Under the legislation the maximum duration for a scheme is seven years. Assuming that it continues to meet its annual objectives and report these to the satisfaction of the Minster, the current scheme will end in 2017, but may be extended for a further period if an application to do so is successful.
The scheme covers:
- The design and specification of glass packaging to minimise use of resources.
- Funding to increase the recovery of glass containers and improve the glass recycling rate by diverting waste container glass from landfill for use in the manufacture of new glass containers or for alternate use
- Consumer awareness and education programmes
- Work to reduce the carbon footprint of glass packaging
- Research into improving the collection of glass and finding alternative uses and specifications for the recovered materials
- A fundamental requirement of any scheme is that it can only include objectives over which it has direct control
Scheme ManagerHas the responsibility for:
- Operating the scheme
- Reporting annually on the performance of the scheme and compliance to it
- Managing variations of the scheme including reporting to the Minister and changes to the membership of the scheme.
- Report recovery and recycling rates as a percentage of consumption; conduct consumer and education awareness programmes; and improve communications with local government and community groups.
- Collate data from members and other stakeholders to demonstrate progress towards reducing the amount of glass waste to landfill as well as optimising higher value closed loop recycling options.
- Report trends in the use of glass packaging such as design innovation to reduce its environmental footprint and increase recycled content. To provide a simple measurement, the Scheme Manager will report a kilogram glass packaging per kilogram or litre product sold.
- Over the 7 year duration of the scheme, work with the industry and review international trends to understand how the Forum might report on a carbon footprint of glass consumption.
- Provide support to members to assist with reporting requirements.
Most of the requirements of the scheme will be administered by the Scheme Manager. Members already report their glass consumption as part of their membership of the Glass Packaging Forum. The Scheme Manager will work with members to enable additional reporting requirements.
First Packaging Scheme to Receive Accreditation
The Forum’s accredited scheme was the first packaging scheme and the second product stewardship scheme for any product or industry to be accredited under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008.
A voluntary glass packaging product stewardship scheme is the best way to protect the interests of members in the face of continued calls on government for mandatory product stewardship schemes or the introduction of container deposit legislation enabled through the legislation.
The scheme currently covers over 80% of the glass on the market in New Zealand primarily for food and beverages and includes the major manufacturer of glass containers, brand owners and retailers. The remaining companies and those outside the food and grocery sector using a significant volume of glass packaging are encouraged to participate and play their part.
The scheme does not include:
- Packaging materials which are not glass
- The local government, recycling operators and community recycling networks which do not pay a levy to the scheme manager and fund glass collection through their own management systems.