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Product Stewardship: Linking waste back to primary production
The mismanagement of waste products generated from economic activity results in environmental harm. In current globalised supply chain relationships, responsibilities for waste management become transferred. That transfer of responsibility fails to reduce waste at source, contain waste appropriately, maximise resource recovery or fund the management of products at the end of their usefulness. In response to this situation, the New Zealand Government has adopted a policy called Product Stewardship which, in principle, is intended to support the shared responsibility for the whole life of a product across the supply chains.

Product Stewardship, to date in New Zealand, has been based on an industry-led, voluntary approach. Whilst voluntary approaches have enjoyed varying levels of success over the last decade, the amount of waste sent to landfill in New Zealand and offshore for recycling, has increased significantly. Onshore, landfill is supported by engineered containment of waste and is visible to communities. Offshore, recycling processes are unsighted.

In 2017, the New Zealand Government began a review of the waste system in response to the contraction of offshore recycling markets. In 2020, the Government announced its intention to move beyond voluntary Product Stewardship in favour of a mandatory approach, by declaring six priority product waste streams. Subsequent to this change in policy emphasis, a number of co-design working groups have been established to develop mandatory Product Stewardship schemes, based on guidelines set out by the Government.

The aim of this research is to understand how Product Stewardship can contribute to the reduction of waste within New Zealand.

Webinar presented by: Alec McNeil (BApp Mgt), (MProf Prac)
Solid Waste Manager
Marlborough District Council

Dec 1, 2021 02:00 PM in Auckland, Wellington

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