Voluntary glass recycling programme reaches seven year milestone

  • Scott Simpson

The Glass Packaging Forum and its glass recycling programme has been  celebrated in Auckland by Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson.

Mr Simpson visited O-I Glass in Penrose to tour the factory and meet the people making the glass recycling programme work.

“It’s great to see New Zealand business taking up the challenge of reducing their products’ environmental impacts,” Mr Simpson says. 

“New Zealand now recycles 73 per cent of all glass containers used in the country, on par with the European Union average and well ahead of the United States 50 per cent. We are proud to support the Forum as a formally accredited voluntary product stewardship scheme.”

Product stewardship is the responsible management of the environmental impact of a product. It aims to reduce the impact of manufactured products at all stages of the product life cycle.

The Glass Packaging Forum promotes the environmental benefits of recovery of glass packaging and manages the accredited Voluntary Glass Packaging Forum Product Stewardship Scheme. The scheme is funded by a voluntary levy based on tonnage of all food and beverage container glass into the market. It has over 100 members which include New Zealand’s only manufacturer of glass and all the major retailers and distributors of glass.

Over the last seven years, the Glass Packaging Forum has invested in glass collection and processing systems with over $1 million allocated to capital expenditure projects with partners to improve the collection of quality glass. The Forum has also contributed over $600,000 to raising community awareness about glass recycling.

“Under the Waste Minimisation Act, I can accredit product stewardship schemes that meet the criteria for reducing waste and environmental harm. A product stewardship scheme will only be accredited after it has been thoroughly assessed to ensure accreditation criteria have been met. In turn, accredited schemes have to report annually to me on their objectives and targets. There are 13 operative schemes.”