What are the next steps to reduce waste and support product stewardship, especially re food, plastic waste, batteries, textiles and packaging?


Our policy on waste minimisation has yet to be released and will be closer to the election.


Labour is committed to transitioning to a zero waste circular economy, focused on the waste hierarchy priorities of preventing and reducing waste and reusing resources, followed by recycling and safe disposal.

As part of part of our plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in New Zealand’s landfills, we’re funding new recycling infrastructure and expanding the national waste levy scheme. We’re accelerating work to achieve better and more consistent kerbside collection of recyclables. And we’re progressing work on regulated product stewardship schemes for tough waste issues, such as e-waste. We’ve also banned single-use plastic bags and are looking at phasing out more single use plastics. 

Through the Waste Minimisation Fund, we’re creating jobs by investing in projects to help New Zealand reduce, reuse, and recycle. And, we’re addressing food waste with $14.9 million investment to reduce waste by redirecting food to people in need. 

Labour will continue to build on this progress.


There is no waste in nature; only cycles of resource use. The Green Party wants our communities and economy to run on the same no-waste principle. The Green Party has done more to address waste than any other previous government. We have banned single use plastic shopping bags, phased out micro-beads in cosmetics, and expanded the waste levy on landfills. We’re designing a container return scheme for beverage containers and have implemented mandatory product stewardship schemes, as well as improving Aotearoa’s kerbside recycling system. And we have secured $124m for new facilities and infrastructure to improve recycling and materials recovery and reprocessing. Next, we need to:

  • Phase out low-grade plastic products that can be easily replaced with reusable alternatives, especially plastic water bottles, cotton buds, and fruit stickers.
  • Commit to zero food waste and zero e-waste in our landfills, and pass legislation creating clear waste management obligations for businesses and local authorities.
  • Improve clear labelling with common standards to ensure people can have confidence in products marked “compostable” and “recyclable”.
  • Continue to create more sector-wide product stewardship schemes for problem products like electronics and tyres, and implement a container return scheme for beverage containers.

Develop a new Waste Strategy and review the Waste Minimisation Act and Litter Act to ensure we have the tools needed to put Aotearoa on a zero waste pathway.