Lubricant Container Stewardship Programme

Around 4.5 million lubricant
containers are discarded
every year in New Zealand.

Lubricant packaging is hazardous and problematic to recycle due to the residue left inside even when they’re empty. This makes the containers and drums difficult to handle and lowers their value as a useful recycled material. While a small percentage are recycled, the majority end up in landfill.

New Zealand’s leading lubricant manufacturers and distributors are working to change that.

With 3R Group as project manager, together, we’ve formed a working group to develop a Lubricant Container Product Stewardship Programme to close the loop and make drums and containers a valuable circular resource.

What we aim to do

Maximise the number of lubricant containers diverted from landfill

Maximise recovery and recycling by supporting development of end use markets

Reduce the amount of virgin materials extracted, manufactured and imported into New Zealand

Transition the lubricant industry toward a Circular Economy model

Working Group

The Waste Lubricant Container Working Group is open to the whole industry. The brands displayed below are leading the way for lubricant container stewardship and call on others in the market to join us in tackling the issue.

Goals of the Working Group

  • Continuous improvement of industry best practice to ensure efficient and cost-effective recycling of lubricant containers.
  • Promote necessary and appropriate action and a fair and consistent approach to management of end of life lubricant containers in NZ.
  • Engage with key and relevant stakeholders to ensure the end of life management of lubricant containers is organised and funded correctly.

Purpose of the Working Group

  • To meet, discuss and participate in processes that relate to general cross-industry management of waste lubricant containers.
  • Promote actions and outcomes that will deliver a fair and consistent approach to the recycling of lubricant containers within New Zealand.
  • A copy of the Working Group’s Terms of Reference is available from 3R Group.

Role of 3R Group

  • 3R is an independent third party with expertise in product stewardship that will provide for overall project management as the solutions are explored and developed.
  • This includes expert advice, materials for discussion, and support for funding submissions for the Working Group in accordance with the terms of reference.
  • 3R will stay abreast of issues and bring key matters, reports, documents and legislation to the attention of members in a timely, efficient and ethical manner.

Get involved

Be part of the solution

Join us in turning a problematic hazardous material into a useful resource that can benefit our environment, our economy and our society.

We’re calling on all importers and distributors in the lubricant market to join us to tackle the millions of lubricant packages being discarded every year.

Importers and processors

Are you an importer of lubricants into the New Zealand market?

In order to design a nationwide solution, the project manager, 3R Group, needs to understand the volume of product to market by packaging type.  Responses are completely confidential and data will only be presented in aggregate form for modelling purposes.

Please download and complete the following spreadsheet and email back to Adele Rose, project manager.

Are you a processor of plastics or metal, or planning on being one?
Help us establish the current capacity for processing lubricant contaminated HDPE and metal, understand plans to build future capacity and what would be needed to speed this up.

Latest news

29 July 2020

Hundreds of tonnes of recyclable plastic from oil drums and other lubricant containers will no longer end up in landfill, following an announcement by Government today (29 July).

Media Release, 22 June 2018

Lubricant industry leaders are calling on others in the market to join them in tackling the issue of millions of lubricant packages being discarded every year.

22 June 2018

Z Energy Sustainability and Community Manager Gerri Ward was interviewed on Radio NZ’s Nine to Noon show today about the Waste Lubricant Container Product Stewardship Scheme.

Media Release, 22 June 2018

Lubricant industry leaders are calling on others in the market to join them in tackling the issue of millions of lubricant packages being discarded every year.

Take a closer look at this project:

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