Recently our team joined a cohort of Waste Sector leaders, contributors, and organizations at this years 2024 WasteMINZ conference in Hamilton.

For those unaware what this conference is about, it brings the Waste Sector together over a four day period to discuss some of the nation’s critical questions surrounding waste such as infrastructure, innovation, legislation and collaboration.

For our team, this was the second year in a row we have attended and as always our team came back with good insights, new learnings and updates to share.

So here are three that our team learnt from this year’s conference.

One – Government reviewing current programs and projects

The new formed Government and the Minister for the Environment Hon. Penny Simmonds shared some updates on the current programs and projects currently in the pipeline.

Not to bore you with the detail, but the gist we came away with is everything was under review and the priority for the Government is tackling the cost of living and inflation.

This included the push back of Tranche 3 of “phasing our problematic packaging” from mid 2025 to mid 2026.

Other reviews included Farm Plastics, e-waste and reconsideration of the Container Return Scheme.

Two – National Waste Data now more visible

The team from the Ministry for the Environment share some key updates from their department and one fascinating update included the visibility of New Zealand’s national waste data in the form of a dashboard.

This is quite interesting as it allows people to see the breakdown of waste but more importantly, provide awareness of important waste metrics in a more friendly format.

Nga tatauranga para | Waste Statistics

Three – Networking and Collaboration is still key to creating change

Without sounding cliché there is something to be said about collaborating with your peers, this was after all a conference to network.

However, it is about taking action and time to ask questions, lean in on curious innovations, learn from other people, and more importantly, share in the lessons from those taking risks, and changes.

For example, we heard how the Auckland Council wanted to tackle construction and demolition (C&D) waste seriously, so instead of hypothetical thinking what will happen, they decided to be part of it by planting themselves in the heart of the C&D waste site for four months to understand behaviour and that’s exactly what they were able to do and getting fantastic insights as a result.

To conclude…

Waste continues to be an important area for New Zealanders to focus on and the progress in some areas around the country are always amazing to hear and see. The amazing people driving new ways of thinking and approaching better ways to divert, manage, and ultimately eliminate waste is promising.

However the reality is, there is still plenty of work to be done in this area. Luckily WasteMINZ continue to do a great job bringing the Waste sector together and rallying to move in a positive direction. At the end of day, whether we like to admit it or not, we all create waste, so it’s in our best interest to tackle this opportunity together, which Hi-Tech Packaging are committed to doing.

Till next time,

Team Hi-Tech Packaging

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