In February 2007, the Government signalled its preference for the creation of a waste levy to fund projects to encourage recycling and recovery of waste. One product of this process is a recently-published report which sets out to provide the NZ Ministry for the Environment with an understanding of the current opportunities and risks associated with the further use of local/regional waste levies and with the use of a national waste levy.

The Prime Minister‘‘s statement at the opening of Parliament on 13 February 2007 outlined a number environmental initiatives that will accelerate New Zealand‘‘s sustainable development. These are:

Towards zero waste

A new drive to cut down on waste and make it easier to dispose of. New initiatives – to be formally worked through with local government and announced later in the year – include:

a network of public recycling stations

the creation of a waste levy to fund projects to encourage recycling and recovery

regulation to allow for mandatory product stewardship, including recognition of existing industry sponsored schemes.

Full details will be announced later in the year as well as in Budget 2007. Issues requiring legislation – including the creation of a waste levy – will be worked through in Parliament, including in the development of the Waste Minimisation (Solids) Bill currently before the Local Government and Environment Committee.

Business partnerships for sustainability

Building on existing work, the Business Partnerships for Sustainability programme, will make it easier for New Zealand businesses to find out and implement sustainable business practices. It will include support for existing sustainability advisory services and the expansion of assistance to industry groups. Full details will be announced later in the year and in Budget 2007.

Public service takes lead in becoming carbon neutral

The 34 core public service departments will begin immediate work to achieve carbon neutrality. All core departments will start reducing emissions immediately and a lead group of six agencies – the Ministry for the Environment, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Economic Development, Inland Revenue, Department of Conservation and the Treasury – will have carbon neutral plans in place by early 2008.

It will be mandatory for all 34 agencies to be on a path to carbon neutrality by 2012.

Full details will be announced later in the year and in Budget 2007.

Government to buy eco-friendly goods, services

The Government will use its purchasing power to grow the market for environmentally friendly services and products, including paper, cleaners, plastics and fuel efficient vehicles.

public service departments will be required to create more sustainable workplaces, including greater use of renewable energy and recycling.

the Government intends to provide comprehensive information about which ecolabels and standards are good indicators of environmental sustainability

it will also increase the number of product types that carry the Government‘‘s own Environmental Choice NZ ecolabel to assist departments in implementing the new policy and encourage more suppliers to adopt sustainable practices.

The Environment Minister has asked the Ministry for the Environment to provide advice on options for waste levies in New Zealand.

To date, the Ministry has:

facilitated the development of a national waste levy proposal with some local councils and waste companies. This proposal was used as a basis for the advice on a national waste levy to the Environment Minister

working with stakeholders to consider the potential for unintended consequences from the application of a levy on waste

published a study that considers the relationship between product stewardship and waste levies.

The Governm

Ano da Publicação:
WARMER BULLETIN ENEWS #22-2007-June 01, 2007
Kit Strange/Warmer Bulletin
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