Farm plastics and plastic packaging have been declared 'Priority Products' by the Ministry for the Environment (MfE). Under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008, regulatory product stewardship schemes will need to be developed for these products to minimize waste to landfills.
Joint industry-government stakeholder working groups are being formed to co-design schemes that fit. The farm plastics working group has already developed the voluntary scheme Plasback, which is aimed at retrieving used silage wrap. A larger program is underway by AgRecovery to look at product stewardship schemes for irrigation, frost, and ground cloths.
In the plastic packaging space, consumer plastics have dominated the discussions to date, but horticultural pots and bags are next on the agenda. Dana Peterson from MfE is leading this work and is keen to see NZ Plant Producers in the stakeholder working group. It is important that our industry is fully involved in co-designing any accreditation schemes to make sure our perspectives are considered. The formation of the working group work has been delayed due to Covid-19. Dana reckons we have about three years to develop a scheme and adapt to doing things differently across our industry.
NZ Plant Producers are planning to hold workshops across the country later in the year, to bring together all of the stakeholders across the plant production industry to look at this issue. Keep an eye out in their events page or get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org to keep up to date.
New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated