Government and business initiatives
Find out how central and local government are working together to implement the New Zealand Waste Strategy. Business is also involved through the New Zealand Packaging Accord. Local authorities each have their own Waste Management Plans, and a Waste Exchange has been set up for businesses in the Wellington region.
The New Zealand Waste Strategy presents a vision for reducing and better managing New Zealand's waste. Its objective is solving the waste problem rather than transferring it elsewhere.
The strategy is a broad blueprint that covers solid, liquid and gaseous wastes, and deals with waste from generation to disposal. It provides targets, guidelines and economic incentives to reduce waste and change wasteful behaviour.
Originally released in March 2002, the national targets in the Waste Strategy were reviewed in 2003.
A copy of the Waste Strategy and the Review of Targets in the New Zealand Waste Strategy is available on the Ministry for Environment's website.
From 1994 to 2002, each New Zealander consumed an average of 140kg of packaging a year. While the proportion recovered increased steadily, an average of 83kg of packaging per person still went to landfills in that period.
By weight, New Zealanders send more paper packaging to landfill than they do plastics, glass, steel and aluminium packaging. By volume, some packaging types take up more space than others. Using less packaging and recovering more packaging after use will narrow the waste gap.
To tackle the issue, the Packaging Council and the Ministry for the Environment have brought together packaging brand owners, retailers, importers, recyclers and local government to negotiate a New Zealand Packaged Goods Accord. The accord is a voluntary industry and government initiative to make more sustainable use of packaging. It was signed on 10 August 2004. For more information see www.mfe.govt.nz or www.packaging.org.nz
Before the introduction of the Waste Minimisation Act, the Local Government Act required territorial authorities (city and district councils) to develop Waste Management Plans to manage waste from the point of generation through to disposal. Since the enactment of the Waste Minimisation Act in 2008, territorial authority roles and responsibilities for promoting effective and efficient waste management and minimisation within their districts have become more clearly defined. Under the Waste Minimisation Act, territorial authorities are required to have Waste Management and Minimisation Plans. These plans must have regard to the New Zealand Waste Strategy. The Councils of the Wellington region have worked together to jointly prepare and adopt a Waste Management and Minimisation Plan, which is operative from 2011-2017.