Rubbish & Recycling

​​​Recycling Changes - Plastics 1s and 2​​s only

Due to changing world markets, Plastics 3 - 7 can no longer be recycled, so Council is asking our community to help us by only putting Plastics 1 and 2 in to your recycling crates/recycling drop off facilities. Please either stop buying Plastics 3 - 7 or put these plastics in your general waste.

Reason for the change

This is not a Council driven change. The change is due to world markets no longer accepting these plastics f​or recycling. Our Council simply can't get rid of them so we need ​to stop collecting them as recycling. 

Council's contractor has been actively looking for new markets for several months. During this time we have been removing plastics 3 to 7 from urban and rural recycling and stockpiling it. They're still working on this but we want to be honest with our community - if we don't find a market to take them, we may have to take these plastics to our landfill. Council is disappointed by this prospect.

Which plastics are what?

It is impossible to photograph all products, but here’s a few examples...

​​Remember - while some of these plastics can no longer be recycled, they can be re-used!


​COMMON 1s & 2s

UNUSUAL 1s & 2s
Some meat trays, some take away containers, not all!
​MIXED BAG
Some coloured plastics are 1s and 2s;
some are 3s - 7s... 
​​
COMMON 3s - 7s
Some take away containers
COMMON 3s - 7s
Some take away lids
COMMON 3s - 7s
Margarine, cream cheese, washing power scoops... some not all!
COMMON 3s - 7s
Soft plastics, some examples...

How can I check which products are Plastics 1 and 2?

Check the recycling symbol - usually on the bottom of the container. If the number is 1 or 2, it can be recycled. Any other number, or no number, please don’t put it in your recycling.


​I am a 2! I can be recycled
​I am a 7! I can't be recycled

Frequently Asked Que​stions

​​​​What is the change?

Plastics 1 and 2 in green recycling crate. No change to glass. Plastics 3 to 7 are not recyclable. Please put these into your general waste (rubbish). OR don't buy/use these products at all.

Don't buy or use plastics 3 to 7 products. Three top tips: 1. Use honeywrap or lilybee wrap rather than glad wrap. 2. Stop using plastic bags for supermarket shopping, use the cloth reusable ones 3. Use the reusable cloth bags for your fruit and veg at the supermarket.

Why has this changed?

This is not a Council driven change. The change is due to world markets no longer accepting these plastics for recycling. Our Council simply can't get rid of them so we need to stop collecting them as recycling.

Council's contractor has been actively looking for new markets for several months. During this time we have been removing plastics 3 to 7 from urban and rural recycling and stockpiling it. They're still working on this but we want to be honest with our community - if we don't find a market to take them, we may have to take these plastics to our landfill. Council is disappointed by this prospect.

Are other district councils in New Zealand still collecting these plastics?

We don't know, however our understanding is that most councils have stopped or are in the process of stopping collecting Plastics 3 - 7. Even if some councils are still collecting these at this point in time, they will likely end up landfilling at some stage. We believe it is best to appropriately sort at the kerbside.

Is this change permanent?

Likely yes, we will continue to keep an eye on world markets, but plastics are definitely a problem for our world going forward. Plastics are simply not sustainable.

What is the cost to Council to redirect collected plastics 3 - 7 to landfill?

It costs around $27,000 for Council to redirect collected plastics to landfill.

How do I know if a plastic product is recyclable or not?

Look for this symbol (image) on the product, usually on the bottom. If it has a number 1 or 2 in the middle, it is recyclable; if it has any other number, or no number, it is not.

What is central government's responsibility around this?

Local government has advocated central government review its Packaging Accord to better manage plastics. Very little has been done to date in this area. It is possible that the current problem with plastics may force a review of the New Zealand Waste Strategy (2010) to include a range of actions that Government could take.

How can I find out more about going plastic free entirely?

Visit the Plastic Free July website here

What are the common plastics 3 - 7 that are no longer recyclable?

See table above.

Can I recycle [product/brand]?

It is very difficult for staff to advise on individual products as different brands and products use different plastics. Please look for the recycling symbol. It is usually on the bottom of the container. If there is a 1 or 2 in the middle of the symbol, it can be recycled. Any other number or no number, please put in general waste. Do not put this in your crate or in the rural recycling station.

Is gladwrap recyclable?

No, gladwrap is a soft plastic which many of the plastics 3 - 7 are. It cannot be recycled. Look for alternatives like Lilybee wrap or similar. They are more expensive, but they are reusable, so initial outlay only. Visit their websites - Lilybee Wrap and Honeywrap or similar product website.

Similar wrap can be homemade too.

Does this apply to the recycling drop-off zones?

Yes. Signage will be installed to assist.

Does this affect other products?

​No other product that is currently recycled in our district - glass, paper, cardboard, tins, aluminium cans - is affected by this change in markets.




Page reviewed: 12 Jul 2018 2:50pm