Mandatory product stewardship

Under the Waste Minimisation Act, the Minister for the Environment may make product stewardship mandatory for a product. This page explains when this can happen and why.

When is product stewardship mandatory?

Product stewardship is mandatory when a product is declared a priority product under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 by the Minister for the Environment.  The Minister has not yet declared any priority products.

Criteria for priority products

Before declaring a priority product the Minister must be satisfied that the following criteria are met.

  1. The product will or may cause significant environmental harm when it becomes waste, or
  2. There are significant benefits from reduction, reuse, recycling, recovery, or treatment of the product, and
  3. The product can be effectively managed under a product stewardship scheme.

Process for declaring a priority product

Any priority product declaration will be notified in the New Zealand Gazette. If required, ministerial guidelines about the product stewardship schemes will be provided.

Before new regulations are passed and any priority product declaration is made, the Ministry for the Environment will consult with those who may be affected by the regulations. This includes manufacturers and brand owners who sell their product in New Zealand and any scheme managers who have an existing accredited product stewardship scheme for the same product.

If the Minister declares a product to be a priority product, it allows additional steps to be taken to manage its environmental effects. For example, regulations can be developed that place restrictions on the production, sale, or disposal of the product. Guidelines that any product stewardship scheme must follow can also be established.

Minister Eugenie Sage talks to the New Energy Futures workshop about her vision for a mandatory product stewardship scheme for e-vehicle batteries