In 2003 the New Zealand Plastics industry became one of a select group of industries to develop and launch a sustainability strategy. To date 78 plastics companies have signed a formal commitment to this Initiative which provides a five year agenda for action.
This commitment is a significant one that has not been taken lightly. It requires us to be responsible businesses in the full sense of the word, from product design and development, through manufacture, distribution, and use, to end disposal.
To assist our members in meeting their obligations under the Initiative, Plastics New Zealand has worked with our member companies to develop the Environmental Best Practice Programme. This programme was designed to meet our first obligation under the Sustainability Initiative, to have a simple effective programme in place for improving environmental performance. Financial support has been provided for this programme from the Sustainable Management Fund over 2003-2004 with a further committment for 2004-2005. Regional Environmental Best Practice groups have been established in Auckland and the South Island. 24 plastics companies are now participating in the programme under the guidance of our Programme Facilitator, Dr Shashi Vohora.
This programme has been designed to identify and minimise future business compliance costs. Greater environmental efficiency and more sustainable design practices will ultimately reduce compliance costs as our Government continues to follow the global trend to internalise environmental costs.