Government Slashes Red Tape for Grocery Sector

Press Release – Food and Grocery Council

The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council (FGC) congratulates the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) and the Government on the decision to change packaging and labelling rules for laundry powder and cleaning products, says Chief Executive …Government Slashes Red Tape for Grocery Sector

The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council (FGC) congratulates the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) and the Government on the decision to change packaging and labelling rules for laundry powder and cleaning products, says Chief Executive Katherine Rich.

“This decision will save the grocery sector many millions of dollars in unnecessary business compliance costs and preserve manufacturing in New Zealand.”

“If the 2006 rules had come into effect at the end of this year as planned, a tsunami of compliance costs would have been unleashed upon the grocery sector which would have completely undone major sustainability gains made by our members over the last 5 years. We are grateful to the Minister for the Environment, Nick Smith, for his recognition of our concerns.”

Mrs Rich says that ERMA’s decision effectively preserves the current operating environment and maintains consistency with regulation in Australia, the United States, and the European Union.

“The expiry of certain provisions overseen by ERMA would have forced companies to shift from using environmentally friendly cardboard packaging to plastic bottles in order to meet regulatory requirements. This would have sent 30 million extra plastic bottles to landfills, increased compliance costs, and wrecked domestic powder production.”

“The decisions of ERMA and the Government are a good example of evidence-based regulation which recognises the low level of risk posed by laundry powder in cardboard packaging.

“The environmental gains made by FGC members over the last 5 years, is a sustainability success story, in terms of reduced cardboard use, reduced packaging waste, reduced trucks on the road, and increased powder efficiency in the home (consumers use half the amount).”

“All of these gains were under threat with the move to large volume plastic bottles containing less concentrated products, fortunately, they’ll now be preserved.” Mrs Rich said.

ENDS

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