Product Stewardship is a key component of the Waste Minimisation Act (2008), which enables the establishment of voluntary and mandatory product stewardship programmes. Effective product stewardship shifts the responsibility and cost of managing and reducing the environmental impact of products away from communities and councils and onto those who make and consume these products. When designed well, product stewardship should incentivise producers to redesign their products to reduce waste in the first place.
Product stewardship is a powerful waste minimisation tool that makes businesses more responsible for their waste. The best product stewardship schemes are likely to occur when the wider community has a voice in promoting, monitoring and designing product stewardship schemes. Experience has shown that without strong representation, community interests inevitably come second to those of industry, who are motivated to promote their own interests.
Currently, the only organised view offered to Central Government on product waste issues comes from those with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. The NZPSC provides a forum for local authorities and other organisations dealing with the adverse effects of waste to share information and provide high-level input into the development of product stewardship schemes.