From 1 October 2022, some common hard-to-recycle and single-use plastic products can no longer be provided, sold or manufactured in Aotearoa New Zealand.
These phase-outs are part of the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation (Plastic and Related Products) Regulations 2022.
These bans particularly affect plastic containers used in food businesses, such as number 6 plastic sushi containers and expanded polystyrene clamshells, bowls, burger boxes and cups; as well as PVC meat trays (type 3 plastic). Within businesses, plastic drink stirrers, polystyrene cups, and oxo- or photo-degradable plastic bin liners can also no longer be used.
These bans are likely affect a range of local business and the packaging you use for takeaway and pre-prepared food.
Full information on products to be phased out and alternatives for each banned product is included on the Ministry for the Environment webpage.
Instead of PVC, polystyrene or expanded polystyrene pre-formed trays, containers, boxes or clamshells, you can use or supply the following products:
There are many suppliers of recyclable and compostable containers. These include:
|Local suppliers:||National suppliers:|
Bidfood Limited, 06 751 2260
Hardy Packaging, 06 758 9036
Pack Centre, 06 76 95615
If you are a supplier and would like to be added to this list, please contact email@example.com.
The Ministry for the Environment website contains the following information regarding compliance:
“The Ministry encourages voluntary compliance and expects that all businesses will be taking necessary steps toward ensuring they comply with the regulations.
We will use discretion when responding to any breaches of the regulations. We can respond to non-compliance in various ways ranging from education, providing verbal and written warnings through to prosecution.
In the first instance our preference is to take an educational approach and to offer advice to help businesses understand their responsibilities. The way we work is guided by our Compliance, monitoring and enforcement strategy.
The Ministry will take enforcement action where appropriate, particularly where systemic or ongoing non-compliance occurs. The Waste Minimisation Act allows for fines of up to $100,000 to be issued when parties deliberately contravene regulations under the Act. Any fines will be proportionate to the offence and all prosecution decisions are made subject to our Prosecutions policy and Enforcement decision making policy.”
Businesses should be aware that further bans are planned for some plastic products in 2023 and 2025.