Manukau – New Zealanders have prevented more plastic than ever going to landfills over the past year with 14 councils, representing 740,000 Kiwis, now collecting and recycling more types of plastics.
For Recycling Week 2022, Plastics New Zealand has created a handy interactive map to show plastic recycling by local authority across Aotearoa.
What’s really impressive is the increase in councils now collecting polypropylene or #5PP and it’s just a matter of time until they all collect it.
Polypropylene is a highly recyclable material and in demand by local plastics manufacturers who want to use more New Zealand recycled PP instead of importing it.
Recycling Week 2022 plastics facts and statistics:
- Nearly all local authorities collect plastics #1 and #2
- 88 percent of local authorities now collect polypropylene (#5 PP) which represents more than 97 percent of the overall population
- 14 more regions started collecting #5 PP in the last 12 months with Kaipara the most recent These 14 regions are: Carterton, Far North, Hastings, Hauraki, Kaipara, Masterton, Matamata-Piako, Napier, Ruapehu, South Wairarapa, Thames-Coromandel, Waitaki, Western Bay of Plenty, Whangarei
- 740,000 more New Zealanders can now recycle #5 PP compared to a year ago. Access to #5 PP recycling has grown from 81.3 percent in March 2021 to 97 percent in August this year, that’s 4.8 million people up from 4.06 million at the start of 2021
- Polypropylene is New Zealand’s third most commonly recycled rigid plastic. Ice cream and margarine containers, large yoghurt tubs, dip pottles and many clear takeaway containers are all made of PP.
New Zealand unnecessarily imports about 1,200 tonnes of recycled polypropylene annually. The current market value of pelletised, recycled PP is between NZ $1300 and $1700 per tonne.
Still only half of recyclable PP is being put in kerbside collection bins or commercially collected, the rest is mistakenly thrown out as rubbish. Less plastic in New Zealand is best.
Plastics NZ chief executive Rachel Barker says the plastics industry is fully behind recycling initiatives that capture and remanufacture plastics onshore.
Plastic is used in almost every sector of our economy and initiatives like Recycling Week are all about showing what can be done to reduce waste going to landfills and helping New Zealand shift to a low-emissions circular economy.
Recycled polypropylene is used to make a wide range of products from recycling bins, plant pots and storage boxes to products for building foundations and road stabilisation. Aotearoa has the opportunity to create a circular recycled PP economy worth between $10.4 million to $17 million annually and achieve environmental benefits including a reduced carbon footprint.