Eco-labelling wins international acclaim

An eco-labelling scheme helping consumers in New Zealand choose recycled paper products and sustainable furniture has been backed by a Government on the other side of the world.

The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) chose the Environmental Choice New Zealand scheme as an international model of best practice.

The government-endorsed scheme certifies paper from recycled or sustainable sources, and tells shoppers whether sustainable wood has been used in furniture.

New Zealand Environment Minister Trevor Mallard praised the scheme, which is run by the independent NZ Ecolabelling Trust, after it was chosen by Defra as the best international guide for people buying furniture.

“This is a real feather in the cap of Environmental Choice New Zealand and helps reinforce New Zealand’s clean, green brand internationally,” Mr Mallard said.

He added: “The origin of the things we buy and whether or not they are produced in a sustainable way has become a global issue for many consumers and it is good to know New Zealand is at the leading edge of global developments in this area.”

Defra picked out Environmental Choice New Zealand after studying 207 schemes used to measure environmental sustainability worldwide.

Although New Zealand’s efforts to promote recycled paper have won international acclaim, local newspaper reports this week suggested that its efforts to recycle WEEE have hit a stumbling block.

According to the Dominion Post, some multinational computer manufacturers are refusing to support a system under which they would pay a levy on imported computers.

The paper claims companies met this month to discuss a secret proposal for a product stewardship scheme.

Kate Martin

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