The campaign for a Container Return Scheme (CRS) in New Zealand is the result of work from numerous individuals and groups – too many to acknowledge here, although a detailed overview is provided in The Road to Bottle Deposits.

Nearly one billion new plastic bottles are made and thrown in NZ landfills each year. Many of these bottles end up in our oceans, harming marine life. Having the right CRS would mean that the majority of our beverage containers would be collected and properly recycled, tackling a big part of the waste crisis.

The legislation exists in Aotearoa for a CRS to be set up nationally, under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008, but political will to implement it has been lacking. The Kiwi Bottle Drive aims to educate the public and our politicians on the many benefits of a comprehensive CRS, as well the urgent need for it.

We thought we had won when the government announced it would implement a CRS in September 2019. But since then industry groups have been lobbying hard to either be excluded from the scheme or to design and manage a scheme to suit their own ends. We know that for the scheme to be effective, fair and return maximum benefits to the community, it needs to be comprehensive (including all packaging types), equitably designed with all stakeholders and not managed by industry groups.

The local government, the majority of the public, and the Environment Select Committee are all in favour of a CRS – but our job isn’t done yet. We need to make sure New Zealand get the best possible scheme, that benefits the community and the environment. Email the Minister for the Environment through the form on our homepage, and for one last time, lets make our voice heard!