Packaging Criteria

The Sustainable Business Network and the New Zealand Government (via Ministry for the Environment) are signatories to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s – New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. The commitment unites organisations and countries around the world with a vision to make plastic packaging 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 in practice and at scale. 

Your organisation will need to provide evidence that you intend to meet 2025 circular economy goals for packaging. For example, you may have signed up to one or more of the following:

New Plastics Economy – Global Commitment

NZ Plastic Packaging Declaration


And specifically, your organisation has or has the intention to eliminate problematic or unnecessary packaging through redesign and innovation, getting rid of materials, components or formats that:

  • are not reusable, recyclable or compostable
  • can be avoided altogether
  • hinder or disrupt recycling
  • have a high likelihood of being littered
  • contain hazardous chemicals

Where applicable, you have or intend to replace single-use packaging with reusable format (i.e. refillable or returnable), or implement alternative delivery models.

Where applicable your packaging products are or will be 100% recyclable or compostable, meaning they are effectively recycled or composted in practice and at scale by 2025.

Where appropriate you have or intend for your packaging to be made with recycled content or sourced from renewable (or bio-based) feedstocks (bearing in mind the requirement for packaging to be recycled or composted in practice and at scale).

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Compostable packaging

The Ministry for the Environment have released their position statement on compostable products. Their position is that industry, businesses and the general public should take a cautious approach when considering using compostable products. Any claims of compostable packaging on the Circular Economy Directory need to be supported by certifications to provide assurance that compostable packaging will degrade under certain specified conditions, is not ecotoxic to soils and checks for heavy metals and other toxic components. The main recognised overseas standards used in New Zealand are AS4736, EN13432 and ASTMD6400/6868.

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