The Packaging Council of New Zealand (PAC.NZ) has announced the release of the year two progress report for its 'Packaging Product Stewardship Scheme', a voluntary industry initiative.
PAC.NZ executive director Paul Curtis said since the scheme's launch, the council reported a 93% diversion rate of packaging waste from landfill by scheme members within their operations.
"Scheme members have also put considerable effort into embedding the principles of the 'waste hierarchy' (reduce, reuse, recycle) into their operations," Curtis said.
According to PAC.NZ, 83% of the members have implemented an internal programme to cut down the amount of packaging waste, 89% have put packaging reuse systems in place and 83% use packaging with recycled content.
The Packaging Product Stewardship Scheme demonstrates the continued willingness of the industry to act responsibly to reduce the environmental impact of packaging in New Zealand.
The initiative aims to improve packaging design and systems to reduce packaging waste, increase reuse and recycled content of packaging, and enhance consumer awareness and understand sustainable packaging.
The council has also identified a number of specific areas for improvement around areas, including target setting, education and improved packaging design processes.
In order to improve further, 67% of scheme members have a specific internal target to reduce packaging waste to landfill and 56% have a target to increase packaging diversion from landfill.
The principles of the code of practice for packaging design, education and procurement have been adopted by 67% of the members.
To help identify packaging material type, 61% of members provide on-pack information, while 72% provide other information to the consumer / customer about their role in waste minimisation.
In 2011, 39% of scheme members were engaged in community activities / programmes with regard to packaging.
The Packaging Product Stewardship Scheme, which was launched in 2010, meets the requirements of part two of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008.