27th October 2005
Packaging Accord - An Example Of Effective Product Stewardship
Business leaders from companies representing 85% of New Zealand's packaging production and 95% of the country's
supermarket trade joined Environment Minister David Benson-Pope, representatives from local and national Government and
the recycling operators this evening to celebrate a fruitful first year of the voluntary Packaging Accord 2004.
Tony Nowell, Chair of the Accord's Governing Board said that the Accord's performance had exceeded expectations in Year
"Initially intended as a benchmarking year which would enable us to establish a framework for future joint work
programmes, I am delighted to report that Accord members have risen to the challenge of how to meet their objectives set
out in the Sector Plans."
"The level of participation required by the sector specific and cross sector working groups cannot be underestimated. In
a competitive job market, industry operates increasingly "lean" management structures and so finding management resource
to drive the process is not easy.
Nor is asking companies more traditionally used to competing to co-operate towards a common goal of using less packaging
and developing sustainable markets for new and recycled materials. But where there is a will there is a way and the
achievements in this first year speak for themselves. We have made good progress which we anticipate will be exceeded in
the second year as we continue to work together to deliver the Accord's five year targets."
The occasion was marked by the publication of an Annual Report which highlights the achievements of the key packaging
sectors which are steel, paper, plastics, aluminium and glass as well as brand owners and retailers working through the
Packaging Council and supported by key signatories Local Government New Zealand, Central Government and the Recycling
Operators of New Zealand.
Major achievements include:
- a voluntary agreement by the majority of the direct glass importers to pay $1.5 million to help sustain glass
packaging recovery which also increased glass recovery to 50% despite the commercial challenges faced by this sector;
- an impressive 72% recovery figure for paper packaging;
- an increase in plastics packaging recycling by over 4000 tonnes with a 41% increase in the use of recovered materials
by plastics manufacturers;
- start up of a 10 year steel can recovery arrangement in parts of Auckland, including a wider range of steel packaging
for collection: and
- creation of a cross sector Environmental Beverage Action Group which has focused on finding solutions to allow people
to easily recycle their drinks containers when they are away from their home or office.
Environment Minister David Benson-Pope today commended those involved:
"The Accord's achievements illustrate the importance of joint efforts to reduce the impacts of packaging waste. The
Accord is a positive example of an industry that voluntarily takes responsibility for the impacts of their products from
cradle-to-grave," said Mr Benson-Pope. "I encourage more industries to set up similar initiatives."