Glass recycling scheme gets government accreditation

Posted: 18th October 2010

Recycling may be part of being ‘green’, but there is no denying it’s practically beneficial to the environment and results in huge savings in the long run.

For all those concerned about recycling glass, it’s heartening to know that four out of five of the glass containers on the supermarket shelves are part of a voluntary levy to help make sure each container gets recycled when it is put in the recycling bin. Only 12% of New Zealanders know about this voluntary levy but an overwhelming 92% say they think all businesses should be taking this sort of responsibility or ‘product stewardship’.   

And this leadership has now been recognised with the Minister for the Environment’s seal of approval as a voluntary product stewardship scheme under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008.

Whilst the Glass Packaging Forum was the first industry body in 2005 to introduce a levy on members who pay according to the amount of glass they manufacture or import, fill or sell in New Zealand, the Waste Minimisation Act now allows voluntary schemes to be officially recognised by Government.

General Manager of the Glass Packaging Forum, John Webber, says this accreditation is an important signal to its members that their funding is allocated to projects which directly meet the criteria of the Waste Minimisation Act.   

“The scheme is an extension of our work over the past five years during which time our members have raised over $1.6 million, that has been spent on projects, research, infrastructure and educational programmes to increase glass recycling leading to a reduction in container glass to landfill.”

“The glass scheme is unique in terms of packaging because it addresses the “cradle to grave” impacts of glass containers from their design through to assisting with recycling them after use. In the past year the Glass Forum has directly contributed to recycling an additional 30,000 tonnes of glass which represents 20% of all glass recycled.

In addition the scheme will during its seven year term:

  • measure the amount of glass packaging used by members and the amount of recycled glass being used
  • target markets which have a high value for recovered glass and prioritise returning glass cullet to glass maker OI for remanufacture
  • allocate 20% funds to consumer education and awareness including public place recycling, and
  • measure and seek to reduce the carbon footprint of glass packaging.

“The Waste Minimisation Act allows the Government to recognise those organisations which are directly influencing a reduction in waste and doing it in a voluntary way. However it is important that a level playing field is set for everyone. Schemes which are funding end of life recovery systems (whether for glass packaging, agricultural wrap or paint containers) require funds raised by members’ levies to meet the needs of ‘whole of life waste avoidance’ and to do less would not fully cover the expectations of the Act.

“Creating new infrastructures to collect materials after use and develop new recycling markets for recovered materials requires funding. Whilst some argue this is the role of local and central government through rates and taxes, the Waste Minimisation Act requires producers to play (and pay) their part.

“At a time when all businesses are looking to reduce their costs, our members continue to pay a significant amount of money to help make sure the glass packaging which they produce is recycled and not wasted. Gaining accreditation means we can now target the companies which are currently free-riding on the back of them.

“By having a seven year voluntary accredited product stewardship scheme, industry is demonstrating that it can meet challenging waste minimisation targets. However this requires everyone to be in the tent. Those companies using substantial amounts of glass that are not a member of this scheme or a similar scheme which directly diverts glass packaging waste from landfill will be reported by the Glass Packaging Forum as ‘free riders’ in the scheme’s annual report.”

“We are already funding consumer awareness programmes which promote recycling of all packaging materials and are increasingly being asked to fund public place recycling facilities. Whilst our focus is glass, the public rightly expects to be able to recycle all of their packaging at events and when out and about – not just their glass containers.”

“We expect that others will take on this responsibility as we have done so that industry can best cover all of its ‘product stewardship needs’. We believe we have led the way in ‘best cost most effective’ product stewardship in leading with our glass scheme and encourage other packaging materials to follow.”

Tuesday, 25 May 2010


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Ministers announcement on right track says 3R Group
Graeme Norton of 3R Group is applauding Environment Minister Amy Adams for elevating discussions regarding how New Zealand can improve management of problematic waste.

A consultation document released today seeks feedback on whether intervention is required to improve outcomes for four waste streams - electrical equipment, tyres, agrichemicals and farm plastics, and refrigerants and other greenhouse gases.  Each has been identified as having particularly high potential for environmental harm, combined with insufficient recycling or disposal options currently available.    

Norton has first-hand experience in three of the four waste streams under discussion and was involved in research related to passing of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 (WMA).  This provides a framework for implementing product stewardship at a nationwide level, a likely method of government intervention.    

“Stewardship shares responsibility for effective recycling or waste disposal across a product’s supply chain, rather than lumping the full cost on individual end-users or with councils.  This provides scale for efficient collection and processing, and generally improves the environmental outcome significantly” says Norton.
3R currently operates PaintWise and Agrecovery Rural Recycling, both large-scale examples of successful stewardship-based recycling programmes however Norton says all programmes have natural limits under a voluntary framework.

“Our programmes are funded by organisations wanting to help their customers with recycling and disposal solutions.  It’s a great stance to take but unless all players in a market participate, it provides an unbalanced playing field which can favour free-riders and undermine a programme’s effectiveness.”

Norton believes that declaration of Priority Product status for selected waste streams under the WMA will correct these negative aspects without adopting a heavy handed or ‘one size fits all’ approach.  It will also promote the concept of product stewardship to more consumers. 

“All of our experience in this area suggests the best outcomes will come from industry-led, government supported initiatives.  Large scale product stewardship activity can ideally fix the waste issues and stimulate economic development and new jobs at the same time.  I can’t think of a better example of kick-starting the green economy we hear so much about.” 
For more information contact Duncan Scotland, 3R Group, 06 872 7235 or 021 922 540
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Accreditation double for programme managers

Posted: 12th August 2011

National leaders in product stewardship development 3R Group has added another accolade to its impressive CV with a paint recycling programme under its management gaining Product Stewardship accreditation.

3R manages the PaintWise paint and packaging take-back scheme on behalf of Resene.

Resene PaintWise is one of six programmes to secure Ministry of Environment (MfE) accreditation to date.

3R Group Executive Director Graeme Norton said the company was thrilled the Resene PaintWise programme joins another programme the company has developed, Agrecovery Rural Recycling, in receiving accreditation.

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Refrigerant Recovery scheme accredited

Posted: 18th October 2010

Industry groups that continue to use CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs have accepted their responsibility to discard the refrigerants in an environmentally acceptable way.

In 1993, a trust was formed by the New Zealand Institute of Refrigeration, Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers with one objective in mind: to promote and facilitate the collection, storage and disposal of all ozone depleting substances during the phasing out period. As synthetic greenhouse gases have emerged the trust’s activities have been extended to include collection and disposal of these contributors to global warming.

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Consultation sought on proposed end of life tyre scheme

Posted on 1st March 2013

The Tyrewise Working Group has released Scoping Report 4: ‘What might a future programme look like?’ which outlines the industry preferred option for a national product stewardship scheme for end of life tyres (ELTs).

Currently around four million tyres come to the end of their useful life in New Zealand each year and there is no consistent and sustainable nationwide approach for their disposal.
Many tyres end up in landfills, are stockpiled or illegally dumped. This poses environmental risks and in some cases health and safety risks. Furthermore, it is wasting a valuable resource that could be processed into a useful end product for which there is significant demand.

Tyrewise is calling on interested parties to provide feedback on the proposed scheme at one of two consultation workshops that will be held in Auckland and Christchurch at the end of March. 

Gareth Mentzer of 3R Group, the Tyrewise Project Managers, says, “We have consulted and engaged extensively with all stakeholders to ensure we are tackling the issues head on. This report takes into account the wide range of feedback we have received since the project started in March last year.  "It identifies what a future programme might look like and how it would operate based on what the majority of industry players have told us they prefer.    “If these recommendations are implemented, we believe New Zealand will have a widely supported and sustainable solution to what is currently an unacceptable environmental situation.    “We are very close to presenting the Working Group’s final recommendations to the Minister for the  Environment and would like further feedback from interested parties so we can ensure the final report is as robust as possible,” says Gareth.

Interested parties can have their say by registering to attend one of two consultation workshops. To register call 0800 TYREWISE (0800 897 394) or email">
After registration, those attending will be sent the necessary documents and the event locations.

Consultation workshop dates:
Christchurch: Monday 25 March, 2013 at 10:00am – 12:00pm

Auckland: Thursday 28 March, 2013 at 12:30pm – 2:30pm

For those unable to attend the workshop, the full scoping report is available online at and feedback via email is invited.

Feedback from the consultation will be incorporated into a detailed business plan, which will be presented to the Minister for the Environment in June 2013. 

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End of life tyre scheme for industry

Posted: 11th August 2011

With New Zealand marketing itself to the world as ‘100 % pure’, it’s a good thing that our treatment of tyres doesn’t feature in glossy tourist brochures, with most ending up in rubbish tips around the country. 

That could soon come to an end, with industry agreement around an end of life tyre (ELT) scheme.

The Motor Trade Association’s Advocacy and Training General Manager, Dougal Morrison, says that there is support from the major tyre companies, the industry associations, MIA, IMVIA, AA, Scrap Metal Recycling Association and Local Government New Zealand, to get a product stewardship scheme up and running.

Funding is currently being sought under the Waste Minimisation Fund for the design phase, and the hope is to get it up and running within 12 months.

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True product stewardship in action

Posted: 18th October 2010

The Agrecovery Container and Chemical rural recycling programmes have been accredited as Product Stewardship programmes under the Waste Management Act 2008.

Announced at the Waste Management Institute of New Zealand conference on October 13, the Ministry for the Environment accreditation followed a rigorous audit of Agrecovery’s programme including its design, operation, sites and product end uses.   Product Stewardship programmes are ‘cradle to grave’ schemes that help reduce the environmental impact of manufactured products, and this accreditation is formal recognition from the Ministry for the Environment that Agrecovery fulfils this criteria.

The letter of accreditation stated “The Agrecovery programme is an example of how forward thinking businesses can manage the environmental effects of their products through proactive product stewardship.”

Since starting in 2007 with 12 brand owners and 22 container collection sites, Agrecovery has expanded to 53 brand owners and 70 sites, and has also introduced recycling programmes for unwanted or expired chemicals, silage wrap and crop protection net. 

Agrecovery Foundation chairman Lew Metcalfe welcomed the accreditation and said it endorsed the investment made by both the Foundation and its supporting brand owners over the last three years.  “With wide industry and market support, Agrecovery is giving farmers and growers a very credible and sustainable solution for disposing of persistent on-farm waste products.”

Read more ...
Glass recycling scheme gets government accreditation

Posted: 18th October 2010

Recycling may be part of being ‘green’, but there is no denying it’s practically beneficial to the environment and results in huge savings in the long run.

For all those concerned about recycling glass, it’s heartening to know that four out of five of the glass containers on the supermarket shelves are part of a voluntary levy to help make sure each container gets recycled when it is put in the recycling bin. Only 12% of New Zealanders know about this voluntary levy but an overwhelming 92% say they think all businesses should be taking this sort of responsibility or ‘product stewardship’.   

And this leadership has now been recognised with the Minister for the Environment’s seal of approval as a voluntary product stewardship scheme under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008.

Read more ...
Funding announcement for End of Life Tyre programme

Posted: 14th March 2012

The Product Stewardship Foundation says it is delighted with today’s funding announcement from the Minister for the Environment for the development of a product stewardship programme for End of Life Tyres (ELT) - Tyrewise.

The Foundation has been awarded funds to develop an industry led programme which will allow for a consistent nationwide approach to the responsible disposal of tyres, removing hidden costs for consumers and ratepayers as well as providing a better outcome for New Zealand’s environment.

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Resene adds colour to Central/Southern Sustainable Business Network Awards

Posted: 18th October 2010

Resene Paints Limited was named the 2010 Sustainable Business of the Year at the Sustainable Business Networks (SBN) Central/Southern regional awards last night for its innovative workplace initiatives.  Along with being names the Sustainable Business of the Year, Resene Paints Limited was also crowned winner of the ‘Trailblazer Large and Corporate’ category.

The judges praised Resene for their consistently outstanding effort when it comes to sustainability.  Resene has demonstrated significant commitment to the research and development of sustainable practices and products, the judges said.

The judges were particularly impressed by Resene’s EcoDecorator programme, which despite having a somewhat challenging audience amongst professional painters, was making great headway in encouraging the adoption of sustainable practices.  Resene’s efforts have encouraged their competitors to follow their lead and step up their own dedication to sustainability.

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New waste strategy launched

Posted: 18th October 2010

Environment Minister Nick Smith today launched the New Zealand Waste Strategy at the WasteMINZ Conference in Auckland, giving a strong emphasis on reducing the harmful effects of waste and improving the efficiency of resource use.

"Our Bluegreen approach is about using financial incentives and working collaboratively with industry to improve New Zealand's management of waste" Dr Smith said.

The Minister also made two further announcements on waste funding at the Waste Management Institute of New Zealand's annual conference in Auckland today. West Auckland company Tyregone Processors Limited received $300,000 to expand its plant to process more than 2000 tonnes of used tyres a year and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council received $100,000 to expand a vermicomposting trial to deal with organic waste.  Vermicomposting uses worms to turn organic waste into high nutrient compost diverting waste from landfill.

The Minister also signalled today the Government's support for industries that voluntarily collaborate to solve a particular waste problem.

Under the Waste Minimisation Act's product stewardship scheme, the Minister today accredited Refrigerant Recovery New Zealand Ltd's programme for the safe collection and destruction of ozone-depleting refrigerants.  He also accredited the Agrecovery Foundation's rural recycling programme for a new scheme for recycling used farm plastic agrichemical containers and safely disposing of hazardous agrichemicals.

"I encourage other industries that have product stewardship schemes to get them accredited as it not only brings environmental and economic benefits, but it demonstrates corporate social responsibility," Dr Smith said.

"These new initiatives dealing with used tyres, used agricultural chemical containers, ozone depleting chemicals and biowaste reflect the Government's strong focus on dealing with the harm caused by waste."

The Waste Strategy is available at:


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Announcement from the Minister for the Environment

Posted: 14th March 2012

The Minister for the Environment today announced funding for the development of a product stewardship programme for End of Life Tyres. 

Click here for the announcement

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