There is a fresh call from within the community, councils and government for the introduction of Container Deposit legislation on glass bottles and jars to increase recycling and reduce litter.
Historically there have been voluntary return programmes for beer bottles, soft drinks and eventually wine and spirit bottles. Programmes ceased because of the cost of collections; the introduction of lighter more energy efficient containers; the costs of washing plants; and the need for pristine bottles.
Now the call is for a refundable deposit to encourage the return of bottles, not necessarily for reuse, but for recycling albeit that there will be significant extra costs.
However, a legislative approach is not justified with industry acting voluntarily.
The current New Zealand glass recycling rate is 73 percent – equal to the European average, including countries with legislation and the rate has increased from 50 percent over the past decade since the formation of the Glass Packaging Forum.
Introduction of the GPF’s accredited Product Stewardship Scheme has played a vital role in this improvement and has so far persuaded Government that industry is acting responsibly.
How do we ensure the voluntary approach remains acceptable to government? By continuing to increase recycling and by growing membership to validate the GPF’s mandate to act for the glass packaged goods industry.
What should the beverage industry do? The beverage industry should support the Packaging Forum’s Glass Packaging Product Stewardship Scheme. Under this protocol each member contributes directly in accordance with the glass put into the NZ market by providing glass tonnages which apply to a) the bottle manufacturer or importer b) filler or brand owner and c) the retailer. The levy payable is $1.30 per tonne of bottles sold calculated at empty bottle weight.
All members of the Beverage Industry are urged to support the Packaging Forum’s Glass Scheme.
For more information contact John Webber
Mob: 021 949 215 Email: John@glassforum.org.nz