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Regulation for environmentally harmful plastic packaging, tyres, e-waste

The Government is stepping up action to deal with environmentally harmful products – including plastic packaging, tyres and e-waste – before they become waste.

As part of the wider plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills, Associate Environment Minister, Eugenie Sage, has announced six products to be declared ‘priority products’ for the establishment of regulated product stewardship schemes under the Waste Minimisation Act. The products are:

  • Plastic packaging
  • Tyres
  • Electrical and electronic products (e-waste)
  • Agrichemicals and their containers
  • Refrigerants
  • Farm plastics.

The next step will be for the Ministry for the Environment to work with the manufacturers and retailers of the priority products and with stakeholders to co-design product stewardship schemes and regulations that will work for them and the environment.

Mandatory schemes for these problem products help level the playing field and ensure everyone involved in their design, production, sale and use contributes to diverting the materials in them from landfill at the end of their useful life. This helps to ensure proper materials recovery, re-use, recycling or disposal. Many countries overseas have product stewardship legislation.