The following Principles include key elements that should be included in all Product Stewardship schemes in New Zealand. These Principles are aspirational and considered best practice to achieve maximum results.
- Producers are required to design, manage, and finance programs for end-of-life management of their products and packaging as a condition of sale. These programs may or may not use existing collection and processing infrastructure. Programs should cover all products in a given category, including those from companies’ no longer in business and from companies that cannot be identified.
Level Playing Field
- All producers within a particular product category have the same requirements, whether they choose to meet them individually or jointly with other producers.
- Producers have flexibility to design the product management system to meet the performance goals established by government, with minimum government involvement.
- Producer-managed systems must follow the resource conservation hierarchy of reduce, reuse, recycle, and beneficially use, as appropriate.
- Products must be managed in a manner that is protective of human health and the environment.
- Producers design and implement public education programs to ensure achievement of performance goals and standards established by government.
- All consumers have convenient access to collection opportunities without charge.
Transparency and Accountability
- Government is responsible for ensuring that producer programs are transparent and accountable to the public.
- Producer programs, including their development and the fate of products managed, provide opportunity for input by all stakeholders.
Roles for Government, Retailers and Consumers
- Government is responsible for ensuring a level playing field for all parties in the product value chain to maintain a competitive marketplace with open access to all, for setting and enforcing performance goals and standards, for supporting industry programs through procurement, and for helping educate the public.
- Retailers only sell brands within a covered product category that are made by producers participating in an industry program, and are responsible for providing information to consumers on how to access the programs.
Consumers have a responsibility to reduce waste, reuse products, use take-back and other collection programs, and make appropriate purchasing decisions based on available information about product impacts and benefits.