Making Progress Towards a Sustainable Future: New Zealand’s Plastic Packaging Stewardship Programme 

This World Environment Day we wanted to touch on some important work that’s being done here in New Zealand to address the environmental impact of plastic packaging.  Luke is a passionate sustainability advocate and champions the cause for our brand, hence why he is on the Committee steering this work.  We have tried to give you an overview of the project, the objectives they are focused on and the significance of this work for New Zealand. 

What is it?
The Plastic Packaging Stewardship (PPPS) project in New Zealand is making significant strides in developing a comprehensive and sustainable scheme to address the environmental impact of plastic packaging. Jointly led by The Packaging Forum and the NZ Food & Grocery Council (NZFGC), with funding from the Waste Minimisation Fund, this co-design initiative involves various stakeholders, including consumer and community groups, government entities, producers, and processors.  

The Project’s Co-Design Approach: 
The PPPS project follows a co-design process, ensuring that all relevant stakeholders are actively involved in decision-making throughout the project. The Packaging Forum and NZFGC bring substantial experience to the table. The Packaging Forum, with over a decade of experience, has successfully developed and managed voluntary product stewardship schemes for glass packaging, soft plastic, and public place recycling/litter. NZFGC, part of a global leadership group on product stewardship, is directly engaged in designing a soft plastic product stewardship scheme in Australia through the Australian Food & Grocery Council’s research. 

The Priority Product Designation: 
In July 2020, plastic packaging (excluding beverage containers) was declared a priority product under section 9 of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008. This designation mandates the development of a product stewardship scheme for plastic packaging, with all producers being required to participate. At this stage, the scheme encompasses all plastic packaging used for consumer goods sold via retail or wholesale, excluding beverage containers, liquid paperboard, and compostable plastic. 

Objectives and Scheme Design: 
The PPPS project aims to recommend a not-for-profit product stewardship organization structure responsible for delivering the plastic packaging priority product scheme. The scheme design will adhere to the requirements set forth by the Waste Minimisation Act 2008, including sections 12, 14, and 15. By establishing an effective scheme, the project endeavours to achieve comprehensive and responsible management of plastic packaging throughout its lifecycle. 

In short this all means: 
The Plastic Packaging Stewardship programme in New Zealand, led by The Packaging Forum and the NZ Food & Grocery Council, is making remarkable headway towards developing a robust and sustainable solution for plastic packaging waste. Through a co-design process involving multiple stakeholders, the project aims to establish a product stewardship scheme that meets the requirements of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008. By engaging industry, government, and community groups, New Zealand is on track to create a circular economy for plastic packaging, ensuring responsible management and a more sustainable future for all. 

For More Information: 
If you are interested in learning more about the PPPS project, the dedicated PPPS Project Team, or the Steering Group, we encourage you to visit the official project website at The website provides comprehensive information and updates on the project’s progress, stakeholder involvement, and the overall vision for a sustainable future of plastic packaging in New Zealand.