Watch out for recycling changes
Posted at 6:53am Thursday 05 Nov, 2020 | By Pat Deavoll firstname.lastname@example.org
From 1 December, Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) will be changing the types of plastics accepted in yellow kerbside bins to ones that can be recycled onshore in New Zealand.
Only plastic numbers 1, 2 and 5 will be accepted for recycling. This includes material collected in the yellow kerbside bins or through commercial collections.
Plastic packaging with the numbers 3, 4, 6 and 7 along with bottles made from coloured plastic-type 1 (PET), meat trays, punnets, biscuit trays and also pizza boxes will no longer be accepted for recycling in the yellow kerbside bins.
QLDC General Manager Property and Infrastructure Peter Hansby said the change is being made to align with New Zealand's commitment to move away from hard-to-recycle plastics and to contribute towards better regulation of the international trade in plastic waste.
“By opting for high-value plastics which can be processed right here in New Zealand, we can be confident in a clear supply chain and improved environmental and social outcomes.
“Plastic numbers 1, 2 and 5 make up the majority of plastic materials put in the district's yellow mixed recycling bins and can be reprocessed in New Zealand. Clear PET bottles (plastic number 1) are sent to Flight Plastics in Wellington where they are repurposed into food-grade packaging, while HDPE and PP (numbers 2 and 5) go to Comspec in Christchurch for reprocessing,” he said.
Hansby said there were a number of ways residents could get ready for the changes including considering simple swaps that avoid this type of packaging altogether.
“Next time you're doing your grocery shopping, take a quick look in your trolley and see if you could swap plastic for glass or tin which can be easily recycled.”
Making these simple changes as well as being conscious about the way you recycle have a big impact on the environment, he said.
In response to a post on the Wānaka Sun Facebook page, Will Croxford said
“When I do our groceries, I try to buy products in glass or tin. If it only comes in plastic, I look at the recycling number and only buy products with 1,2 or 5. After doing this for a few weeks, it becomes second nature because most of the supermarket trolley is the same week to week.”
Andy Vause said: “ We need to take a stand against the endless amount of waste products that are encouraged by our supermarkets. But at the same time, we need to find a way to reduce the cost of more sustainable product packaging as right now it does not make sense to buy a glass reusable milk bottle when the cost of milk in a single-use plastic bottle is less than half the price.”
Wastebusters is also changing the plastic it accepts through its drop off, business and events recycling. From 1 December, it will only accept clear PET bottles.
It will no longer take PET meat trays or punnets, or coloured PET, as it doesn't have a reprocessor to send them to.
Read edition 999 of the Wānaka Sun here.