New Zealand companies take a stand on packaging waste

The discussion panel at The Packaging Forum event included Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage, centre.

Packaging waste in landfill is set to become a thing of the past with a commitment by The Packaging Forum’s members to make all their packaging recyclable or compostable by 2025.

The pledge made by packaging manufacturers, brand owners and retailers, came on Monday (31 July) at a packaging industry event attended by Associate Minister for the Environment Hon Eugenie Sage. According to the Forum’s chairman Rob Langford it shows the members are taking a leadership position on packaging waste.

“We want to see comprehensive product stewardship solutions delivered by industry, in partnership with the whole supply chain, including local and central government and communities, so that there is no packaging waste going to landfill,” Mr Langford says.

The Packaging Forum is an amalgamation of the Glass Packaging Forum, Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme and the Public Place Recycling Scheme and promotes the Government’s Love NZ brand. Over 200 companies belong to one or more of the voluntary product stewardship schemes run by the Glass Packaging Forum, Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme and the Public Place Recycling Scheme.

Mr Langford echoed previous comments by Minister Sage in regard to developing onshore processing solutions for recycling and composting. “The best outcome is to keep the composting and recycling onshore. We will therefore use our position to support investment in infrastructure in New Zealand,” he says.

Advocating for the right collaborations between the public and private sectors to achieve the best possible onshore solutions for NZ’s packaging waste is an important part of the commitment, Langford says.

Another critical element is making it easy for consumers to do the right thing with their end-of-life packaging. “There is currently a lot of confusion amongst the public around what can be recycled or composted and where to do that. It’s very important the process is as simple as possible, to get as much uptake as possible,” he says.

Product stewardship sees manufacturers and retailers take responsibility for their products through to the end of life. Members of the forum contribute to schemes which recycle or repurpose products like glass and soft plastic, to keep them out of landfill.

For more information about The Packaging Forum visit