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Report on household plastic rubbish, recycling practices a wake-up call

A new report on New Zealand’s plastic rubbish and recycling practices is being welcomed by the Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage.

“The report by WasteMINZ provides a valuable insight into what’s ending up in household rubbish and recycling bins around the country. It highlights the value of much better product design so products and their materials can be easily re-used or recycled, and the need to reduce what we use, reuse what we can, and recycle properly,” said Eugenie Sage.

“It’s a timely wake-up call for designers, manufacturers, retailers and marketers to shift towards more recyclable and re-useable packaging. There is a strong public demand for this.”

Key findings were:

  • An estimated 181 million containers showed no plastic identification code or recycling information.
  • 39 percent of household plastic bottles and containers are being sent to landfill, despite being fully recyclable.

“Through this nationwide trawl of household rubbish and recycling bins, we are able to get a clearer picture of the extent of the challenge and the urgent need for this Government’s ambitious plan to reduce waste.”

The audit and report are part of a three year project supported by a $425,000 grant from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund. The project was led by WasteMINZ New Zealand in partnership with councils and done late last year in several cities and regional towns across New Zealand.