The Packaging Forum held its annual general meeting on 2 September via a virtual format again this year due changes to Covid-19 Alert Levels.
24 September 2021
The AGM included updates from the Forum’s two product stewardship schemes, the Glass Packaging Forum (GPF) and Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme (SPRS) as well as electing their steering committees.
Continuity was the order of the day with the GPF only seeing two changes as outgoing Chair Karen Titulaer (Villa Maria) stepped down and Heath Bowman (Pic’s Peanut Butter) joined for the first time.
The rest of the 2020-2021 committee members are reprising their positions
The SPRS steering committee retains the steady hand of Malcolm Everts (Cottonsoft) as Chair while Steffan Pedersen (Caspak), Keri-Anne Martin (Nestle) and Michael Anderson (Goodman Fielder) reprised their roles.
They are joined by new faces:
A big thank you to our outgoing steering committee members and to the new members, all of whom serve on a volunteer basis.
MEDIA RELEASE: There’s little doubt New Zealand’s environmental credentials as a clean, green country are under threat.
5 June 2020
With one of the highest per-capita urban waste disposal rates in the world it’s clear we aren’t leading in terms of waste reduction – yet. While it’s easy to point the finger at consumers, it’s producers that have even more responsibility, and the ability, to pivot away from the take-make-waste, linear economy. This will in turn give consumers the ability to support a sustainable, efficient and regenerative circular economy.
The key means to achieving this is through extended producer responsibility (EPR). So, what is EPR and how is it different from product stewardship?
It’s a practice whereby importers and producers of products bear a significant level of responsibility for the impact their products have on the environment, not just at the end of their life, but throughout their lifecycles.
This involves upstream impacts like the selection of materials for the products, and impacts from the production process. It also includes downstream impacts from the distribution, use and disposal of the products and packaging.
Producers practicing EPR design their products to be environmentally friendly throughout their life cycles. They accept legal, socioeconomic or physical responsibility for environmental impacts that cannot be removed by design.
If this is sounding strikingly similar to product stewardship, it’s because the two are technically the same thing – in that producers take responsibility for the products they make and sell at end of life. However, EPR takes a broader approach to the material being used.
The cost of recovering and reusing, recycling or properly disposing of a product at the end of its life needs to be equally distributed through the supply chain. In other words, the material must own the cost of its recovery.
EPR assesses the lifecycles of the materials being used with the aim of ensuring they are cradle to cradle and challenging the use of materials which are cradle to grave. This approach drives product design centred on easy recovery and reuse or recycling as well as more efficient resource use.
Every material is different and simply overlaying a source separation collection model such as a container return scheme (CRS) will have unintended impacts, unless the full material balance is clearly understood.
It’s about understanding that creating less waste isn’t simply about using less, or maximising recycling rates, it’s about avoiding waste through smarter design and improved efficiency. It’s time to challenge the concept of waste reduction and pivot thinking to maximising resource value.
The packaging industry supports a move to an environment which drives the right material use and recovery behaviours, as well as a framework which provides clarity for investment. We also recognise that Government has a role to play in putting in place effective, evidence-based policies and regulatory drivers to support development. Industry has the innovation and expertise to take the lead in shaping solutions that work. But it takes collaboration.
The Glass Packaging Forum’s (GPF) government-accredited product stewardship scheme for glass bottles and jars is an example of moving towards effective EPR. Producers not only take responsibility for the glass containers they make, import and sell, but invest in efficient design such as bottle light-weighting, and using glass which falls into the three colours which can be recycled (clear, brown and green).
The next logical step towards true EPR isn’t simply about effectively recycling glass made from virgin material, but rather producers choosing to use glass containers which already have a substantial recycled component. This way the issue of using virgin material is addressed in favour of a cradle to cradle, circular, flow of resources.
Some producers also support and encourage the refilling of containers where possible, with the product and system design key factors in enabling easy reuse.
The GPF is an example of stewardship working. It’s also an organisation that’s evolving its own model, with a focus on how to deliver a fully costed cradle to cradle EPR solution for glass.
The Packaging Forum, together with our members, is working hard to enable the industry to pivot towards EPR solutions. At the core of this is the Forum’s Pledge 2025 in which we are working towards comprehensive stewardship solutions delivered by industry, in partnership with the whole supply chain, including local and central government and communities, so all packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
We hope you will join us as we strive together for a packaging waste-free New Zealand.
The Glass Packaging Forum (GPF) has released its 2018-2019 annual accreditation report highlighting the performance of glass recovery nationally, including recycling, mass balance data, funding, and stakeholder engagement.
2 June 2020
The report is an annual requirement of its Government accreditation and demonstrates industry’s long-term stewardship of glass.
GPF Scheme Manager Dominic Salmon says work was focused on consolidating gains made over the previous year, particularly removing barriers to glass recycling through improvements to infrastructure, with two primary areas of focus. These being financially supporting improved glass recycling outcomes through grants, and building relationships between glass packaging manufacturers, importers, fillers, and sellers and those who collect and recycle glass.
“Our success this year was due to relationships with our members, councils, community groups, transport operators and end market users,” Dominic says.
“Profile is critical to the scheme’s success and every effort has been made to promote the infinitely recyclable nature of glass right here in New Zealand.”
Mass balance for the year showed a total glass capture rate of 73% of all glass going to market. Of this 71% was recycled – a 9% increase on the previous year – while 14% went to roading, 6% was stockpiled and 7% went to landfill.
Data improvement was a major focus this year, and will remain so, but with the scheme being voluntary it’s accepted the whole picture cannot be known. “As a voluntary scheme there is no obligation for the relevant parties to provide the required data, so it’s an on-going challenge to ensure the majority of glass handled at the various points of its life cycle are accounted for,” Dominic says. “However, we continue to look at ways we can improve our data quality.”
As part of a ‘let’s talk’ approach the GPF achieved a survey engagement response rate of over 60% from both industry and local government. This saw the scheme achieve its 2024 target for survey engagement rates.
Grant allocations were focused on “sensible infrastructure” such as glass storage bunkers and collection of glass for recycling to improve transport efficiency and viability. In total $457,983 was funded for projects ranging from infrastructure to public place recycling, plant and research. This funding helped improve the flow of 11,000 tonnes of glass.
Dominic says he is pleased with progress and believes the scheme is on track to achieving its future goals, most notably a glass capture rate of over 80% by 2024. “Our current 73% recovery rate is enviable for any material in any part of the world, but by continuing to work with stakeholders we are confident of achieving more.”
Read the full report.
Leading beverage company Frucor Suntory has taken another significant
step in its commitment to sustainable production with the introduction
of 750ml glass bottles for its NZ Natural still and sparkling water.
30 August 2019
The sustainable and 100 per cent recyclable packaging is the latest in the Frucor Suntory’s commitment to plastic reduction, following the company’s promise to make 100 per cent of it’s packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
Read more: Hospitality Business article