In July 2020, TechCollect NZ was awarded grant funding under the Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) to lead the co-design process for a regulated product stewardship scheme that includes electrical and electronic products (e-products) and e-waste (unwanted and end-of-life e-products) in Aotearoa New Zealand. The purpose of the co-design process is to capture and understand a broad range of stakeholder perspectives, research, and learnt experiences, in order to outline the preferred scheme framing and design elements recommended in Aotearoa’s unique setting for accreditation under New Zealand’s Waste Minimisation Act 2008 (WMA).
TechCollect NZ has led a comprehensive co-design process with expert advice and input from stakeholders represented on their co-design working group; the Circular E-Stewards Network (CEN). Following feedback from the Ministry for the Environment (the Ministry) on the draft recommendations report, further assessments were required for certain scheme framing and design elements in order to be ready for the public consultation and accreditation stages that come after the co-design process.
TechCollect NZ committed to undertake a review of the final draft recommendations report with a view to close out the identified gaps wherever possible.
After completing a Deed of Variation to extend the expiry date for this WMF project in May 2022, TechCollect NZ is revising certain scheme design recommendations to address the Ministry’s feedback and is also leading additional activities to get the final recommendations as close to accreditation ready as possible; including:
- revising product scope recommendations to commence with a phased in approach starting with e-product categories 2 (Screens, monitors & equipment with screens over 100cm²), 5 (Small equipment), and 6 (Telecommunication equipment & small IT equipment) – under this approach, the remaining product categories are recommended to be introduced over the scheme’s initial seven-year accreditation cycle;
- indicating expected in-scope e-waste generation and corresponding scheme costs to inform advanced stewardship fee settings; and
- recommending suitable targets for scheme access and material recovery.
The final recommendations report with all Ministry feedback addressed and additional activities delivered is due this month.
Michael Dudley, TechCollect NZ’s Senior Policy Manager thanks TechCollect NZ’s members, the Ministry, CEN members and the many stakeholders who provided their time, resources and input into the process. “We deeply appreciate the valuable contributions of so many stakeholders who want to see a regulated e-product stewardship scheme take force in Aotearoa. The co-design process has helped us to identify the right options to progress and we are focused on ensuring we put forward the best recommendations for an equitable and effective New Zealand scheme.”
“There have been several unavoidable delays to the original co-design timeline, however, TechCollect NZ looks forward to submitting the final report to the Ministry in November and paving the way to a new ongoing system where all e-products and e-waste are managed safely, responsibly and sustainably throughout their life cycle. This will be a major milestone for Aotearoa New Zealand and will enable the important stages that follow.”
For more information on the co-design process key activities and timeline, please visit TechCollect NZ’s website: https://techcollect.nz/e-waste-product-stewardship-new-zealand/
The next steps* following co-design and progressing towards the implementation of a regulated e-product stewardship scheme include:
|1||Public consultation on supporting regulations
The final report will recommend that regulations are needed to support the regulated product stewardship scheme. This work is undertaken by the Ministry and will include a public consultation process and Government approval.
|2||Apply for scheme accreditation
The scheme manager applies for accreditation by submitting the priority product stewardship application form. The application is assessed and if the Minister for the Environment is satisfied the scheme meets the requirements of the WMA, it will be accredited.
The earliest possible in-effect start date for the scheme is expected to be in 2025.
*These steps may or may not take place in sequential order e.g., an application for scheme accreditation may be submitted or accredited prior to public consultation on supporting regulations.