Final submissions
Emissions Reduction Plan

Final submissions can be found below

24 November 2021

The government has been consulting on a discussion document for a plan to transition to a low emissions and climate resistant future.

The Packaging Forum sought member feedback on its draft submissions.

Final submissions can be found here.

The Packaging Forum

Compostable Packaging Technical Advisory Group

Strong support for use case principles

General consensus on the principles and feedback have given us a direction for the next steps of a roadmap to product stewardship.

05 November 2021

In June 2021, our Compostable Packaging Technical Advisory Group (CTAG) undertook a “Use Case” consultation with stakeholders connected to compostable packaging.

The aim of the use-case was to gain consensus on which material and application combinations should or should not be allowed into a product stewardship scheme for compostable packaging.

These were tied to five overarching key principles:

  1. Compostable packaging (or products) should have the purpose (primarily or secondarily) to collect and deliver nutrients of value to composters, or
  2. Packaging or products which are common contaminants of the compost system (fruit stickers/tape, plant pots) should all be made compostable, and/or
  3. Packaging or products which commonly contaminate recycling streams with food waste or nutrient residue should all be made compostable, and
  4. Compostable packaging or products (or the residues they contain) must not cause harm to compost, and must be certified to an agreed standard/s and agree to abide by relevant regulation, and
  5. Compostable packaging or products should bring better environmental benefits over alternative materials


60 submissions were received. They showed strong support for the five key principles with work suggested to refine the principles.

The consultation suggested a range of application and material-type combinations, with submitters suggesting further definition of the principles taking precedence over specifying application/material combinations.

We also asked stakeholders about their support for such an agreed use-case and the prescribed application/material type combinations. Support for the use-case concept was high, as well as strong support for ingredients labelling to a managing entity.

Support for items being allowed in the system if they did not meet the use-case criteria but had a potential second-life as a caddy liner, was not as highly supported.

Next Steps

The CTAG will now progress working to define further the key principles, as an alternative to prescribing application/material type combinations.

This will form part of the “Roadmap to product stewardship for compostable packaging” document, currently under construction.

Further information:

Read the background to the use case consultation

View the webinar (members only, create an account if you haven’t already)

Webinar – Glass and soft plastic sustainability 101

Webinar for members and stakeholders

Date: 27 August 2021
Time: 2:00pm

The Packaging Forum is a leader in improving packaging sustainability, including such initiatives as our two voluntary product stewardship schemes.

In this webinar, find out all about the schemes from the scheme managers Lyn Mayes and Dominic Salmon. Why they exist, how they work, what they’ve achieved and what the future might hold.

Compostable packaging use-case consultation

The Packaging Forum is working with other key stakeholders (including composters) on resolving the issues surrounding compostable packaging. This consultation is a critical part of our collaborative work programme to progress solutions for this packaging type.

Published 3 June 2021
Consultation closes 30 June 2021

Download the consultation document

Compostable packaging has significant value in the packaging system in specific applications where it can bring nutrients to composters for composting, thus diverting organic waste from landfill. Globally, diverting wasted food from landfill is a priority. In New Zealand (NZ), our Climate Change Commission recently declared organic recycling a top priority for reducing carbon emissions in the waste industry, alongside capturing more methane from landfills.

“Compostable packaging” incorporates a wide range of material types used in a variety of applications.  However, some applications are not globally considered as best practice for the generally accepted “use case” for compostable packaging.

In this consultation document we aim to discuss:

  • The system for compostable packaging in NZ
  • Some existing international use cases for compostable packaging
  • The NZ position previously published by WasteMinz Organic Materials Sector Group in 2016
  • The range of existing compostable packaging materials and applications in the NZ marketplace, and,
  • A proposed use-case for all stakeholders to work from as a step towards a working system for compostable packaging in NZ

Consultation closing date: 30 June

Download the consultation document

How to make a submission

Simple submissions with answers less than 50 words per question may be submitted through our online survey.

Fill in the short submission

For more detailed submissions, please email your submission, preferably in a word document.

Emailed submissions will need to include the following information:

  • First and last name
  • Email address
  • Company or organisation you represent (if applicable)
  • Part of the supply chain you represent:
    • Manufacturer from raw materials
    • Manufacturer from imported materials
    • Packaging distributor
    • Brand owner importing packaging for own goods
    • Brand owner using packaging from distributor/manufacturer
    • Brand owner of a compostable product
    • Waste management company/organisation
    • Local body
    • Industry organisation
    • Compost facility
    • Consumer
    • Other

Email your detailed submission

Next steps

Following the closing of the consultation, we will be analysing the results and publishing a summary document which will include recommendations.

We are pleased to let you know that fees for The Packaging Forum remain the same for the financial year beginnging 1 April 2021, and will be invoiced in early April.

26 February 2021

As in the previous year, Forum membership is a prerequisite to stewarding your packaging through our product stewardship schemes.

Your fee level is determined by the volume of packaging you sell in the New Zealand market, the range of your packaging types and complexity of materials.

Some of the main benefits of membership are:

  • Have a voice with government through relationships we hold with elected representatives and ministry officials
  • Contribute to relevant submissions to government – we anticipate several this year
  • Access events and information, collaborate with other members to develop your sustainability capability
  • Improve sustainability outcomes by joining our Glass Packaging Forum or Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme
  • Be seen as a sustainability champion
  • Have input into current and future initiatives such as our Technical Advisory Groups

Your fees also cover governance, administration and Packaging Forum marketing, communications, and member engagement.

Our work for the coming year
Pledge 2025

Our work programme is based around Pledge 2025, working towards all packaging being reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Technical advisory groups

Our technical advisory groups continue their work towards overcoming challenges in packaging sustainability.

Plastic packaging regulated product stewardship

Represent members and work with other stakeholders on the design of a regulated product stewardship scheme for single-use plastic packaging, as now required by priority product regulation under the WMA 2008.

Regulated stewardship for container glass

Next steps in developing an EPR model for container glass as an alternative to a CRS. It will aim to deliver better outcomes than a CRS with lower costs for consumers and industry, and less risk.

Government advocacy

Participate in consultations, maintain relationships and have regular meetings with MfE officials and elected government representatives to communicate our members’ on policies pertaining to packaging sustainability. The following will impact the packaging industry.

  • Review of the Waste Management Act and Litter Act
  • Development of a new national waste strategy
  • Draft of a plastic action plan
  • Recycling/processing infrastructure stocktake and gap analysis
  • Emissions reduction (focus on food waste)
  • Report due on fibre recycling
  • Next steps of standardisation of kerbside collections recommendations
Our product stewardship schemes

Our Glass Forum members proudly contribute to steward their materials towards a glass recovery target of more than 80%, notwithstanding development of a proposed regulated scheme.

Our Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme continues to grow in membership, allowing the scheme to expand its capacity and geographical reach.

Interested? Join us

Read about the highlights of our work in 20220

15 December 2020

  • The Public Place Recycling Scheme (PPRS) submits its annual report to MfE.
  • The GPF awards seven grants through its contestable fund.
  • The SPRS resumes collections following lockdown.
  • The Container Return Scheme Working Group concludes and submits it report to Government. The Packaging Forum, represented on the working group by Rob Langford, voices its concerns as part of a minority report.
  • The Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme returned 15 Auckland Countdown stores to its collection network.
  • Eight grants are awarded through our GPF contestable fund.
  • The Packaging Forum holds a member-only briefing on the proposed Container Return Scheme (CRS) and our alternative Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) model.
  • Submissions made on members behalf regarding proposed phase out of hard-to-recycle and some single-use plastic items.
  • The Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme celebrates its five year anniversary.

Submissions have been made on behalf of members regarding the Government’s proposed plastic phase out proposals.

7 December 2020

The Packaging Forum, and its Soft Plastic Recycling scheme, have both made submissions largely in favour of the intent behind the Government’s proposed phase-out of hard to recycle plastics and some single-use plastic items.

However both are concerned about the phase out overlapping work being done on product stewardship, as required by this year’s declaration of all single-use plastic packaging as a priority product. There is also concern expressed about whether the timeframes are achievable. Both submissions support the government’s acknowledgement that some use-cases will require exemptions and want the process around exemptions to be very clear.

Public engagement

In a bid to engage the public, the consultation document was condensed down from 74 pages to an eight-page summary with an accompanying video. People were invited to submit by completing a short survey on the Citizen Space platform.

Ministry for the Environment Deputy Secretary Sam Buckle says more than 5,000 submissions had been received by 1 December, with the consultation closing on 4 December.

Businesses and industry organisations like The Packaging Forum were encouraged to make more detailed submissions based on the longer consultation document, which contained more background and nuance.

The Packaging Forum and Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme responses were formulated by consulting with members via a survey, online meetings and member meetings.

While the Forum’s membership is largely supportive of the proposals, it cautions against the creation of unintended negative consequences and advises a holistic approach be adopted:

  • Any phase-out must go together with the development of recycling and end of life infrastructure for alternative materials.
  • When identifying materials and/or items for phase-outs it’s important to include full lifecycle analysis of all packaging items (and possible alternatives) as well as food safety aspects.
  • Care must be taken to avoid unintended consequences through a largescale move to alternative packaging materials without standards, labelling and end-of-life solutions being in place.
  • Alternative materials, such as compostable and fibre (paper and cardboard) packaging have challenges. These include a lack of a New Zealand standard and currently limited recycling or reuse options.
  • Where packaging is already managed through kerbside or industry led recycling schemes such as the Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme, there is no need for a ban.

The Forum also raised concerns around five issues:

  • A full cost benefit analysis which follows Treasury guidelines is required to asses impact on business, food safety, shelf life and cool-chain (particularly for export items).
  • The proposal overlaps with work by industry following the declaration of single-use plastic packaging as a priority product under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 – requiring regulated product stewardship solutions.
  • A lack of alignment with other work, such as the standardisation of kerbside collections.
  • More detail is needed for exceptions, such as packaging which maintains the integrity of contents. This is particularly relevant for export items.
  • The Forum notes this consultation calls the phase-out a starting point. More certainty is needed on any further phase-outs if business is to invest in replacement technology and processes with a long-term return.

Read The Packaging Forum submission

Read the Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme submission


How will proposed beverage packaging regulation impact your business?

Proposed Container Return Scheme – is Extended Producer Responsibility a better way?

Find out at our webinar
11am 12 November 2020

We all want better environmental outcomes for packaging. With government regulation of beverage containers now highly likely, we unpack the potential impact. Find out the costs, benefits and risks of two different stewardship models for glass, and how an EPR approach can work for other materials.
Open to members of The Packaging Forum, its schemes, and invited guests.

Para Kore and WasteMINZ have consulted with speakers of te reo Māori from local iwi, community groups, councils, universities and government departments to arrive at some agreed-on translations and some alternatives. As regional variations are still possible, WasteMINZ suggests consulting locally where possible for those intending to create signage or material. For the full resource kit, including recycling symbols, visit the WasteMINZ website.

Below are a few te reo Māori kupu that relate to recycling and packaging. For the full list, including other types of waste, see the WasteMinz website.

Bags & Wrap – Pēke, Tākai

Bottles & Jars – Pātara, Ipu Karaehe (glass containers)

Cans – Kēne

Cardboard – Kāri Mārō

Clear – Kōataata

Containers – Ipu

Drink – Inu

Food Scraps – Para Kai

Food Scraps & Compostable Packaging – Para Kai, Tākai Pōpopo

Furniture – Taputapu whare

Garden Cuttings – Tapahanga Māra, Tapahitanga Māra

Glass – Karaehe Karāhe, Kōata

Māori words for glass

Landfill – Ruapara

Milk Bottles – Pātara Miraka

Paper – Pepa

Plastic – Kirihou

Polystyrene – Kirihou Kōmāmā

Recycling – Hangarua, Hakarua is Ngāi Tahu dialect for Hangarua

Reuse – Whakamahia Anō

Rubbish – Para, Rāpihi

Shopping Bags – Pēke Hokohoko

Soft Plastic – Kirihou Ngohengohe

Please join us to discuss this important topic

11am – 12 noon

Mon 28 September

Email Donna Hellens to register

Lyn Mayes, Scheme Manager of our Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme will talk about recycling coverage and recyclability thresholds.

Dana Paterson from the Ministry for the Environment will provide an overview of the regulatory framework and a 101 on what being priority product means.

Email Donna Hellens to register