On 29th July 2020, Vice Minister of the Environment, Eugenie Sage, issued two announcements that will significantly change extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation in New Zealand.
In accordance with the Waste Minimalization Act of 2008, the introduction of two regulations – the Priority Product Guideline and the General Product Stewardship Scheme Guideline – now makes it possible to establish accredited producer responsibility schemes.
The Priority Product Guideline lists products that are referred to as ‘priority products’ in New Zealand, and which are divided into the following six categories:
- electrical and electronic products (e-waste)
- refrigerants and other synthetic greenhouse gases
- agrichemicals and their containers
- farm plastics
- packaging (beverage packaging, single-use plastic packaging)
By declaring a product to be a priority product, the legislator forces the manufacturer of the product to participate in a ‘regulated accredited product stewardship scheme’. The schemes do not need to be set up and maintained by the manufacturer itself, but the manufacturer must join a scheme for its product groups. Manufacturers of products that are not declared priority products can still join a voluntary product stewardship scheme or set up a scheme.
The second publication, General Guidelines for Product Stewardship Schemes, is intended as a guide for setting up a mandatory scheme. It describes in detail the accreditation process and the necessary requirements for a scheme.
Applications for accreditation of existing schemes that already cover all or part of a priority product must be submitted to the Ministry of the Environment by 29th July 2021. Applications for accreditation of schemes that wish to cover a priority product in the future must be submitted by 29th July 2023.
Landbell Group will track further developments and provide updates about future changes. Landbell Group is currently preparing Regulatory Tracking Reports for New Zealand. Regulatory Tracking Reports capture the latest EPR developments and requirements in over 100 countries globally. Find out more here.