High praise as glass product stewardship scheme re-accredited

Glass Packaging Forum Steering Committee Chair Rob Langford, left, Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage and Adele Rose, Chief Executive of the scheme managers 3R Group, with the certificate of accreditation for the Forum’s product stewardship scheme.

New Zealand’s only voluntary product stewardship scheme for container glass has been given the go ahead for another seven years.

Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage officially announced the re-accreditation of the Glass Packaging Forum’s product stewardship scheme on May 18. The minister praised the scheme as a “showcase of the circular economy in action”, and says she is impressed with how it has developed strong partnerships with local government, businesses and community groups to promote glass recycling in New Zealand.

She also says the scheme supports New Zealand’s commitment to Goal 12 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 12 being Responsible Consumption and Production.
“We wholeheartedly agree with the Minister that the Forum is a great example of the circular economy at work, and that it supports New Zealand’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals,” says Adele Rose, Chief Executive of 3R Group, scheme managers for the Glass Packaging Forum.

The primary aim of the scheme, which has over 100 member companies, is to improve the quality and quantity of glass bottles and jars going back to the furnace to be recycled, with a goal of zero glass to landfill. It works towards this by using levies collected from member companies to fund grants for projects, research, infrastructure and educational programmes to increase the recycling and re-use of glass into either new glass containers or for alternative uses.

The Forum has given out around $2 million for a wide range of projects around the country since 2007. It also works to promote the environmental benefits of glass as a packaging material which can be infinitely recycled.

In 2017, the average recycled glass content for New Zealand’s only glass bottle and jar manufacturer O-I NZ was 69%. Using recycled glass when making new bottles and jars produces less emissions and reduces the reliance on virgin materials.