The Packaging Forum’s recent grant funding round called on applications for projects which would tackle litter reduction in New Zealand. It attracted some excellent applications, with four projects being awarded a total of $29,500 in funding.
2 June 2021
Trailer to help keep it green and clean
Promoting litter reduction and encouraging reuse over single-use goes hand-in-hand, with Envirohub Marlborough’s washable service ware trailer hitting both marks.
The organisation was awarded a $10,000 grant to upgrade their equipment with a wash trailer for washable, reusable service ware at public events in and round Picton.
The Envirohub, which works with the local community to enhance sustainability practices in and around the town, currently offers the washable service with makeshift equipment. However, the lack of infrastructure meant it was not streamlined.
A trailer will not only greatly improve the efficiency of the service but provide opportunity for increased awareness and public engagement.
Keeping compostables, recyclables out of landfill
The Te Pokapu Tiaki Taiao o Te Tai Tokerau Trust (Far North Environment Centre), based in Kaitaia, applied for funding to help with a project which will divert compostable and recyclable material from landfill at the local market.
The Centre’s recent recycling bin trial at the markets found a strong zero-waste contingent, with most stalls using compostable or recyclable packaging. It also found many members of the public were keen to reduce waste to landfill. However, a lack of infrastructure meant compostable or recyclable material was going to landfill.
A grant of $9,520 from The Packaging Forum will fund recycling and compost bins as well as a paid staff member at the market to educate the public for six months.
The Trust and its environment centre are central to a growing network of Northlanders working to improve their environmental impact.
Punching a hole in the cardboard problem
Sustainability Trust in Wellington has developed a simple but innovative local use for post-consumer cardboard by turning it into packing material or a compost additive.
The Forum awarded a grant of $5,000 for the Wellington-based Trust to commission a cardboard perforator. The result of the perforating process is a recyclable material which can be used to package breakable items sold by the Trust’s EcoShop, as well as an additive for the community compost hub.
The commercial viability of recycled cardboard has suffered as a result of China’s National Sword and similar overseas policies, with the Forum welcoming projects for alternative, local uses.
The Trust’s mission is to create warm, dry, healthy homes and help reduce people’s impact on the environment.
Project to wash away single-use service ware
Public events can create a large amount of single-use waste from service ware, with Res.Awesome in Dunedin having initiated a project which will see a portable wash station rolled out for reusable service ware.
The Forum awarded $5,000 to the project, which will not only reduce since-use service ware waste at events, but influence public behaviour change in terms of reuse over single-use.
The service will provide vendors with reusable plates, bowls, cups and cutlery to serve patrons. These can then be returned to a central wash truck where patrons can clean their service ware before it is sanitised.
Res.Awesome works towards creative, connected and innovative resource recovery in Dunedin City. They work to support businesses, schools and communities to reduce their waste through workshops, waste auditing, and zero waste management as well as creating a Dunedin Resource Recovery database.
A recent survey on public place recycling and litter has seen a mixed bag of results, with awareness around public bins increasing but willingness to make extra effort to use them declining.
07 April 2021
The survey spoke to over 1,200 people about public place recycling and rubbish bins and found the number of people who have access to public bins continued upwards to 2.4 million adults (66% of respondents). This was an increase of 2% on 2020 and 25% from the first survey in 2014.
Bins to make recycling easier, better
The Packaging Forum CEO Rob Langford says they have been working over recent years to rollout new colour-coded bins which help making recycling and disposing of rubbish easier to get right.
“There are a lot of people who want to do the right thing and recycle, but don’t have the information to do so correctly which causes unintended contamination issues. With the right information they have the potential to have a hugely positive impact.”
While awareness of these colour-coded bins declined slightly to 50%, it was still well up from 37% in 2019.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact and the research shows a drop in awareness where the bins were removed during lockdown but have not been returned,” Rob says.
It was very encouraging to see awareness was highest among people aged 18 to 24, he says. “Those aged 75 and over had just as much awareness, so it’s the group in the middle where more focus is needed.”
The colour-coded bins have continued to be very effective, Rob says, with 81% of people reporting they made knowing what to recycle and what to put in the rubbish easier. “This has been the consistent response over the past three years, so the design is working.”
More litter, less effort
He says it was interesting to see that while litter was perceived as more of a problem, with 34% people agreeing it was (up 5%), individuals were less likely to make an extra effort to use public bins. The report showed 28% of people would walk more than 40 metres to find a bin, down from 37% in 2020.
However, while attitudes towards telling someone else to pick up litter they had dropped changed little from 2020, people were slightly more likely to pick up litter themselves – up 3% to 39%.
While sports venues don’t operate every day, when there is an event it can often generate a significant amount of recycling and rubbish.
2 December 2020
The Public Place Recycling Scheme has been working hard to ensure there is infrastructure available, in the form of colour-coded recycling and rubbish bins, to deal with this material in a responsible and sustainable way.
Between 2017 and 2020 the Scheme invested $50,000 in supporting projects which increase recycling and address litter at sports venues – small and large – with the aim of reaching a diverse demographic.
Funding has been granted to the Whangarei Netball Centre, the North Harbour Hockey Association, The Trust Arena, and the AIMS Games to make recycling and litter facilities available. The Scheme has also funded bins at Eden Park, Sky Stadium and Wellington Rugby.
On a more local level the scheme has supported Otago Golf Club and Remuera Golf Club to help improve their sustainability through the provision of bins.
Making recycling and proper disposal of waste in the public space easy and intuitive is the primary focus of the Public Place Recycling Scheme.
2 December 2020
Our colour-coded, Smart Technology bins are at the heart of this and getting them to as many communities and locations around New Zealand – even if that is atop a snowy mountain – is what we aim to achieve.
In 2019 we invested $25,000 in the Ruapehu District with four sets of bins installed around the area.
Ski areas are hugely popular during the winter, with thousands of tourists and locals alike. We therefore also installed three sets of bins to collect rubbish, glass and co-mingled recycling at the Whakapapa Ski Area.
The Public Place Recycling Scheme not only helps councils, venues and other organisations provide access to recycling and rubbish bins, but district health boards too.
2 December 2020
Between 2018 and 2020 the Scheme granted $15,000 to help the Waitemata, Northland and Bay of Plenty DHBs install internal public place recycling and rubbish bins around hospitals’ public areas such as cafes and foyers as well as offices.
While bins for the majority of public spaces are for standard material, such as glass, paper, cans, plastic and non-recyclables, the requirements for the waste generated by a hospital is different. For example, the bins at the Northland DHB accept biodegradable drug trays, paper, PVC and co-mingled recycling.
New Zealand is winning the war on litter, a recent survey shows, with more people aware of public bins, more likely to put litter and recycling in the correct bin, and feel litter is less of a problem in their area.
20 April 2020
The survey, conducted by Horizon Research for The Packaging Forum, spoke to over 1000 people about the Forum’s Public Place Recycling Scheme bins and the Love NZ brand. It found that some 2.3 million adults have public place rubbish and recycling bin in their area.
Public Place Recycling Scheme Manager Lyn Mayes says the statistics are very encouraging. “Two out of three New Zealanders (64%) say they have public place rubbish and recycling bins in their area – up from 40% in 2015.
“We have worked hard with councils and businesses around New Zealand to increase ‘binfrastructure’ and to introduce standardised colours and signage to make it that much easier for people do the right thing and put litter or recycling in the correct bin. It’s great to know it’s working.”
The number of young adults (18-24 years-old) aware of the scheme’s new colour-coded bins, or who have public place recycling bins in their area is a good sign for the future, Lyn says. The survey showed 79% of them have bins in their area and 75% are aware of the new bins.
The colour-coded bins were introduced in 2017 as part of the nationwide Let’s Put Litter in its Place campaign run in partnership with Be a Tidy Kiwi, are having an impact, Lyn says.
“Eighty-three percent of people in the survey say standardised colours and signage make it easier to choose the right bin when throwing away rubbish or recycling while they are out and about.”
The survey shows there is a corresponding decrease in people’s concern around the amount of litter in their area. “This has dropped significantly from 44% in 2019 to 29% this year,” Lyn says.
“Our awareness campaign has seen thousands of Kiwis, including the Prime Minister, politicians and celebrities, pledge to ‘Be a Tidy Kiwi’ and stop littering. It’s rewarding to see that one in three understood the idea behind the campaign and would now ask someone to pick up litter if they saw someone drop it, while a similar number would pick litter up themselves.”
Women, she says, were shown to be more like than men to ask someone to pick up litter.
Not all the statistics showed improvements. People’s willingness to walk a short distance to find a bin had changed little, with 79% prepared to walk more than 10 metres – the same as 2019.
However, there was an increase in the number of people prepared to walk more than 40 metres to find a bin, with 37% saying they would – up from 29% in 2019 and 23% in 2018.