Designing New Zealand's Container Return Scheme

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Designing New Zealand's Container Return Scheme

Auckland Council and Marlborough District Council are co-ordinating a project to design a container return scheme (CRS) for beverages.

Who is involved?

Auckland Council and Marlborough District Council are co-ordinating a project to design a container return scheme (CRS) for beverages. The project will bring together a multi-stakeholder working group that represents all sectors involved with beverage containers. The working group will be supported by a project team.

What is involved?

The working group will consider learnings from other CRS schemes internationally and then design a scheme that will work for New Zealand.

Why are we doing this?

Introducing a CRS needs careful consideration and input from all affected parties. The project will facilitate the opportunity to develop a CRS and consider what impacts it will have.

When are we doing this?

The project will run between November 2019 and September 2020. A final CRS design will be submitted to the Ministry for the Environment by August 2020.

Where is the project taking place?

The CRS design working group will meet regularly during the project period. Meetings will take place at the Rydges Airport Hotel conferencing centre in Wellington.

How is the group going to design a CRS for New Zealand?

The project team will provide information to the working group as part of the design process. Information will be supplied from a range of sources including, but not limited to, existing overseas CRS schemes, working group sectors, technical experts and government agencies. The assembled information will delivered in four blocks or tranches to the working group. In general terms the process will flow as follows:

Information generated - working group receives info and provides initial feedback – information is updated to reflect feedback and then tabled as an agenda item for a working group meeting – agenda item is tabled at working group meeting and design option(s) discussed and agreed, noting that some decisions may require further consideration as the design process progresses.

A record of the discussions and decision making process and outcomes are recorded as part of the project. The process continues until the final CRS design is achieved.

Other aspects of the project are listed below for your information:

Media releases

See latest media releases

Project Terms of Reference

Scheme Design Working Group (SDWG)

The SDWG is drawn from a range of stakeholders with an interest or involvement in the production, distribution, retailing, recovery and reprocessing of beverage containers

Stakeholder

1

Container manufacturers

2

Beverage producers – non alcohol

3

Beverage producers - alcohol

4

Beverage producers - alcohol

5

Beverage producers – non alcohol (dairy)

6

Retailers (supermarkets, fast food, shopping malls)

7

Consumer advocacy (Consumer NZ)

8

Youth

9

Charitable organisations

10

Local authorities

11

Mana whenua

12

Product stewardship groups

13

Recyclers (Collectors)

14

Recyclers (Processors)

15

Recyclers (community/ social enterprise)

16

Ministry for the Environment

17

Project Co-ordinator

18

Project Manager

19

Programme Manager / Land Researcher

20

Research Assistant
21 Project Assistant/Administrator

22

Independent Facilitator

Recruitment of the SDWG to be completed by 17 November 2019.

The SDWG meeting timetable is set out below:

Meeting

Venue

Day

Date

Kick-off

Wellington

Wednesday

27/11/19

1

Wellington

Wednesday

29/1/20

2

Wellington

Wednesday

18/3/20

3

Wellington

Wednesday

6/5/20

4

Wellington

Wednesday

24/6/20

5

Wellington

Wednesday

29/7/20

6

Wellington

Wednesday

9/9/20

Q&As

Project guiding principles and outcomes

The key project outcomes are:

  • change the way NZ values beverage containers that will see increased recycling and new opportunities for refilling
  • reduce the volume of plastics and other container litter currently ending up in our streams, marine environment, public spaces and landfills; and
  • give effect to circular economy outcomes and any future priority product guidelines.

The key project guiding principles are:

  • make it easier and convenient to return containers across New Zealand
  • design a solution that is cost effective and efficient
  • improve quality and marketability of recyclables and assess impact of design on current kerbside and other collection and processing systems
  • create new opportunities for employment, community participation and fund-raising for charities and social enterprises.

In addition, the CRS design will consider opportunities to:

  • use technology and innovations to optimise performance of the CRS
  • support greater investment in re-manufacturing and regional development
  • align objectives with the Treaty of Waitangi and Te Ao Māori; and
  • mitigate climate change.

Presentation to SDWG 27 November 2019

Robert Kelman, the Director of Reloop Pacific gave a presentation to the first CRS Scheme Design Working Group meeting on 27 November 2019 which included a Powerpoint presentation included here in PDF form. Robert has been engaged for around 15 years in Australia advocating for and supporting development of container deposit/refund schemes.

Meeting 29 January 2020

The Scheme Design Working Group (SDWG) met for the second time on Wednesday 29 January 2020 to review tranche 1 of the research which included chapters on the Introduction, Scene Setting, and Research Methodology. Additional feedback on these chapters will be provided from the group by mid-February 2020. The group also provided some initial thoughts and feedback on tranche 2 of the research which covers Scope of Containers, Collection Points, Retail and Consumers.

Meeting 18 March 2020

The Scheme Design Working Group (SDWG) met for the third time on Wednesday 18 March 2020 to review tranche 2 of the research which included chapters on Scope of Containers, Collection Points, Retailers and Consumers. This meeting was conducted electronically in lieu of the COVID-19 situation.

Additional feedback on these chapters will be provided from the group by mid-April 2020. The group also provided some initial thoughts and feedback on tranche 3 of the research which covers Container Consolidation Facilities, Material Re-processors, Container Producers, Beverage Producers and the Financials including level of container deposit.

Presentation to SDWG 18 March

Philip Barlow the CEO of the Associated Bottlers Company Limited (first established in 1920 and providing the swappa crate service throughout the country) gave a presentation via Skype to the SDWG on Refillables. The PDF of the presentation is included below.

Meeting 6 May 2020

The Scheme Design Working Group (SDWG) met for the fourth time on Wednesday 6 May 2020 to review tranche 3 of the research which included chapters on Material Consolidation Facilities and Re-processors, Container and Beverage Producers and Scheme Financials. This meeting was conducted electronically in lieu of the COVID-19 situation. Additional feedback on these chapters will be provided from the group by 20 May 2020.

The group also provided some initial thoughts and feedback on tranche 4 of the research which covers Product Stewardship Principles, Legal, Managing Agency, Reporting, the Governance Board and any additional matters not previously covered. The full timetable for the research production and feedback process can be found below.