Product Stewardship in New Zealand
In 2008 Parliament passed the Waste Minimisation Act. The passing of the Act marked a change in approach to the regulation of waste in New Zealand and achieved broad political support.
The Act introduced the idea of Product Stewardship into the New Zealand regulatory framework. It allowed for both voluntary and mandatory schemes. Mandatory schemes are created through the designation of priority products by the Minister for the Environment. If a waste stream is designated a priority product all manufacturers, importers, and retailers of the designated product are responsible for the end of life management of that product.
Priority products are chosen based on the detrimental environmental effect of the product at the end of life, the volume of the waste stream, and the effectiveness of a product stewardship scheme in managing the waste stream. In short the ready mix concrete industry meets all criteria.
The Envirocon Product Stewardship Scheme is an industry based voluntary scheme. Our members have recognised that regulation in this area is a matter of when, not if. By being voluntary the Envirocon Scheme is able to offer an affordable, sustainable, regulatory proof solution.