Any “beverage container” (as per the proposed definition1) that is made from materials other than metal, glass, plastic (PET 1, HDPE 2 and PP 5, and recyclable bio-based PET and HDPE) and LPB are proposed to be excluded from the scheme for now. The products that fall within this proposed exclusion are likely to be relatively low volume ‘niche’ containers (eg, compostable plastics, biodegradable plastics, bladders, pouches etc.).
The proposal as it currently stands would see excluded container types (3 litres and under) assessed on a case-by-case basis by the scheme’s managing agency and the government agency responsible for the scheme. Current regulations in relation to priority products under WMA Section 22(1)(a) include prohibiting the sale of a priority product, except in accordance with an accredited scheme. While new bespoke legislation is proposed for a NZ CRS, this principle is proposed to be carried forward to manage the free-rider risk for a NZ CRS. If the principle were carried into CRS legislation, this would mean that without an agreement with the scheme’s managing agency, the beverage packaging type would not be able to be sold in NZ and the producer/importer would need to shift to a more recyclable packaging format that is accepted by the scheme.
We are keen to hear from any beverage producers using compostable plastics, biodegradable plastics, bladders and pouches on this proposal.
Please note that if a NZ CRS proceeds, the scheme’s scope of containers and a process for assessing new products would need to be developed with industry and through further consultation on possible regulations.