Changes coming for plastic recycling in Kāpiti
From 1 July, Kāpiti Coast transfer stations and recycling collectors will only accept plastics numbered 1, 2 and 5 for recycling.
Plastics numbered 1, 2 and 5 include products such as milk bottles and ice cream containers and make up the majority of plastics used in New Zealand, approximately 87%.
Plastics numbered 3, 4, 6 & 7 will no longer be accepted. There are no changes to other types of recycling that will be collected such as paper and cardboard, glass and cans.
Councillor and sustainable waste management portfolio holder Jackie Elliott says recycling sent overseas can end up as someone else’s rubbish, and incurs a large carbon cost.
“The international markets for plastic have been reducing since 2017 and the situation now is that most of the countries that used to take our plastic are not taking it anymore,” says Mrs Elliott.
“Unfortunately, this means that plastics graded 3, 4, 6 and 7 are ending up in landfill so many councils and collection companies around New Zealand are reviewing the way plastics are collected.”
Know your plastics
Plastic products are marked with a number from 1 to 7 showing what type of plastic it is. This number is usually found inside a triangle on the bottom of the packaging.
Plastics numbered 1, 2 and 5 include:
- water, juice, soft drink and milk bottles
- shampoo and cleaning product bottles
- large yoghurt containers and ice cream tubs.
Some common examples of plastics numbered 3, 4, 6 and 7 which will no longer be accepted after 1 July include:
- some biscuit trays
- sour cream, cream cheese, and small yoghurt containers
- plastic tomato sauce bottles, packaging for ham, fresh pasta etc.
Kerbside collection providers will be informing their customers of the changes and new signage will be erected at the transfer stations.
Kāpiti Coast District Council Sustainability and Resilience Manager, Nienke Itjeshorst, says that plastics numbered 1, 2 and 5 are highly recyclable and there are companies in New Zealand repurposing this waste into useful products, such as wheelie bins, buckets, and fruit containers.
“These changes will mean that households need to become more familiar with the types of plastics that are going out in their bins each week. We all have a role to play in reducing single-use plastic waste.
“Start small - reduce the amount of products you buy that are wrapped in plastic packaging and reuse containers and trays where you can to minimise waste going straight to landfill. These small changes add up over time.
“A great way to get involved is to sign up for Plastic Free July, a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution,” says Mrs Itjeshorst.
- Find out more at: kapiticoast.govt.nz/waste
- Check out the Plastic Free July website to learn more about how to reduce plastic waste.
– Wednesday 27 May 2020