PLASTIC RECYCLING CHANGES: SHIFT TO GRADES 1 & 2 ONLY.
From 1 June 2019 Waste Management will only be collecting Plastic grades 1 & 2. Plastic grades 3 – 7 are to be placed in your General Waste. Please see below guide on what can go into recycling. Visit the GDC web page for updates.
Why is this happening?
In 2018 China confirmed that it would no longer import a range of recyclable materials and that quality standards for accepted materials would increase dramatically. This included many types of plastic materials.
These changes have meant that western countries, from New Zealand and Australia to the USA and European nations, can no longer send these materials to China. Other countries have since followed China’s lead in banning or putting tight quality restrictions on what they will accept.
What does it mean?
Some materials which used to be accepted for recycling are unable to be accepted any more, as they either:
- have been banned for export or are unable to be exported; or
- have no manufacturer able to recycle them in New Zealand; or
- do not meet the new quality standards.
Mixed plastic grades 3-7 are now in this category.
Waste Management can therefore no longer accept these materials for processing.
What do you need to do?
- Continue to recycle plastic grades 1 & 2 – and all other recyclables such as glass, tin, aluminium, paper and cardboard.
- Any plastic grades 3 - 7 you do have must go in your general waste bin. Please refer to the diagram below for examples.
- Always check the number on the bottom of the plastic item.
- Rinse all containers as only clean material can be recycled.
- Think carefully about the products they buy and whether the packaging is reusable or recyclable.
Why do lids need to go in General Waste?
Typically lids are made from a different type of plastic with the majority being Grade 5. A small portion of lids are grade 2 plastic but as they are of a different colour they have to be separated. Time constraints during kerbside collections prevent us from determining what plastic type each lid is. Hence lids are not collected at kerbside.