Glass and soft plastic recycling steering committees for 2021-2022

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

  • Monique Sprosen (Pernod Ricard) – elected as the new Chair.
  • Don Chittock (Fulton Hogan)
  • Sara Tucker (Lion)
  • Penny Garland (Visy Recycling)
  • Yuri Schokking (Smart Environmental)
  • Jo Jalfon (Asahi Beverages NZ)
  • Nick Keene (Hospitality NZ)


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:

  • Auriel Bakker (Westpac, previously represented by Josh Devoe)
  • Debra Goulding (Foodstuffs NZ)
  • Kristina Misevska (PepsiCo)
  • Mark Mills (Jenkins Fresh Produce)
  • Millie Porter (Countdown, previously represented by Charlotte Haycock)
  • Robert Lethbridge (Griffins)

A big thank you to our outgoing steering committee members and to the new members, all of whom serve on a volunteer basis.

Mondelez’s transition to recycled packaging

Mondelēz International will now source recycled plastic for its range of Cadbury chocolate blocks sold in New Zealand and Australia.

17 September 2021

Advanced recycling technology has enabled Cadbury to source the equivalent of 30 per cent of the plastic needed to wrap Cadbury Dairy Milk family block range from recycled sources.

The volume of recycled plastic being used is enough for 50-million family blocks of Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate which – if laid end-to-end – would stretch from Auckland to San Francisco.

Read the full story

Zespri launches new climate change strategy

Zespri has launched a new climate change strategy aimed at allowing it to lead the industry’s transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future.

1 September 2021

The strategy identifies the climate risks it faces, outlines the targets it has set, and the actions it is taking to invest for the future.

Read the strategy

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.

Sustainability tours – Visy Recycling and Villa Maria (postponed)

The sustainability tours at Visy Recycling and Villa Maria have been postponed due to the change in Alert Levels, with new dates to be announced soon.

Date: TBA

The tours will visit Visy Recycling’s MRF (material recovery facility) as well as its glass manufacturing plant, and are sure to be a fascinating insight into resource recovery at scale.

The second tour will look at how Villa Maria’s has put its sustainability principals into practice.

The tours and AGM are for current financial members, so please ensure your account is up to date and keep an eye out for your invite.

Annual General Meeting

Due to the change in Alert Levels we have had to move this year’s AGM online. An invite will be sent to attend the webinar.

2 September 2021

Attendance is for our current financial members only, so please ensure your account is up to date and look out for your email invite.


Time: 10am
The AGM will include:

  • Formal AGM including election of 2021 – 2023 appointments to the Soft Plastic Recycling
  • Scheme and Glass Packaging Forum steering committees
  • Updates from scheme managers
  • A facilitated member discussion on an important packaging issue

Speaker series

The speaker series will now be held as a series of short webinars. An email invitation will be sent with registration links for each webinar.

5.30pm Networking drinks, Villa Maria wine experience 5.30pm

Special offer: All guests receive savings on wine purchases made in the cellar door

Member discount

Safe & Sustainable Packaging & Materials Forum

17 March 2021

Get the discount code – members only

Members of The Packaging Forum and its schemes are entitled* to a special roll-back to the super saver price $1099+gst to attend the Safe & Sustainable Packaging & Materials Forum on 17 March at the Ellerslie Events Centre.

*This offer is valid until 5pm, Fri 5 March and is for new registrations only.
Rob Langord, CEO of The Packaging Forum will be one of the guest speakers.

Get the discount code – members only

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

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.

MEDIA RELEASE: New Zealand’s largest member-based packaging organisation, The Packaging Forum, believes a call to ban all plastic bottles is not the solution for ending plastic pollution.
5 June 2020

The Forum was responding to the recent call by Greenpeace which would see all plastic bottles replaced with alternatives such as glass or tin. The issue, says the Forum’s Programme Manager Adele Rose, is that while the idea of a ban is well meaning, it would create as many unwanted issues as the ones it aimed to solve – plastic going to landfill and litter.

“The entire lifecycle of different materials needs to be taken into consideration, such as overall carbon footprint, onshore recycling infrastructure capability, and health and safety, not just the end of life,” Adele says.

All packaging material types have their challenges at end of life, which is why the Forum supports the development of circular economy solutions based in New Zealand for all packaging material types, she says. The circular economy sees resources reused, repurposed or recycled rather than sent to landfill.

“Our members are committed to taking responsibility for their packaging and we have pledged to work with them to make all their packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Even then packaging waste could end up in landfill or as litter if government policymakers and consumers don’t also play their part.”

A ban would bring a multitude of issues into play, Adele says. “Consider how many products are imported into New Zealand in plastic bottles between 100ml and 3 litres. There are many products which aren’t sold at dairies or supermarkets, such as supplements used for medical purposes and sold at pharmacies, which would be included,” Adele says.

“Government would also have to consider issues such as the impact the ban would have on free trade agreements, as just one example.”

The Packaging Forum, which includes the Glass Packaging Forum, Public Place Recycling Scheme and Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme, agrees with Greenpeace that more can and should be done to deal with the issue of plastic pollution and littering. Public awareness and changing people’s attitude to plastic is key, Adele says.

“We are absolutely for ending packaging waste – it’s our core driver – but it needs to be done using a collaborative approach involving industry, Government and the consumer.”