Single use plastics, including plant pots, have been declared 'Priority Products' by the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008. This means that government approved schemes (e.g. recycling) will need to be developed for these products to minimise waste to landfill. The Ministry for the Environment has signalled that our industry has about three years to develop a scheme and adapt to doing things differently across our industry.
Joint industry-government stakeholder working groups are being formed across the primary industries to co-design schemes that fit. For example, the farm plastics working group has already developed the voluntary scheme Plasback, which is aimed at retrieving used silage wrap. A larger programme is underway by AgRecovery to look at product stewardship schemes for irrigation, frost and ground cloths.
In the plastic packaging space, consumer plastics have dominated the discussions to date, but horticultural pots and bags are next on the agenda. Dana Peterson from MfE is leading this work and is keen to see NZ Plant Producers on the stakeholder working group. It is important that our industry is fully involved in co-designing schemes to make sure our perspectives are considered.
NZ Plant Producers are planning to hold workshops across the country later in the year to bring together all of the stakeholders across the plant production industry to look at this issue. Keep an eye out in our events page or get in touch with email@example.com to keep up to date