The Glass Packaging Forum (GPF) has released its 2018-2019 annual accreditation report highlighting the performance of glass recovery nationally, including recycling, mass balance data, funding, and stakeholder engagement.
2 June 2020

The report is an annual requirement of its Government accreditation and demonstrates industry’s long-term stewardship of glass.

GPF Scheme Manager Dominic Salmon says work was focused on consolidating gains made over the previous year, particularly removing barriers to glass recycling through improvements to infrastructure, with two primary areas of focus. These being financially supporting improved glass recycling outcomes through grants, and building relationships between glass packaging manufacturers, importers, fillers, and sellers and those who collect and recycle glass.

“Our success this year was due to relationships with our members, councils, community groups, transport operators and end market users,” Dominic says.

“Profile is critical to the scheme’s success and every effort has been made to promote the infinitely recyclable nature of glass right here in New Zealand.”
Mass balance for the year showed a total glass capture rate of 73% of all glass going to market. Of this 71% was recycled – a 9% increase on the previous year – while 14% went to roading, 6% was stockpiled and 7% went to landfill.

Data improvement was a major focus this year, and will remain so, but with the scheme being voluntary it’s accepted the whole picture cannot be known. “As a voluntary scheme there is no obligation for the relevant parties to provide the required data, so it’s an on-going challenge to ensure the majority of glass handled at the various points of its life cycle are accounted for,” Dominic says. “However, we continue to look at ways we can improve our data quality.”

As part of a ‘let’s talk’ approach the GPF achieved a survey engagement response rate of over 60% from both industry and local government. This saw the scheme achieve its 2024 target for survey engagement rates.

Grant allocations were focused on “sensible infrastructure” such as glass storage bunkers and collection of glass for recycling to improve transport efficiency and viability. In total $457,983 was funded for projects ranging from infrastructure to public place recycling, plant and research. This funding helped improve the flow of 11,000 tonnes of glass.

Dominic says he is pleased with progress and believes the scheme is on track to achieving its future goals, most notably a glass capture rate of over 80% by 2024. “Our current 73% recovery rate is enviable for any material in any part of the world, but by continuing to work with stakeholders we are confident of achieving more.”
Read the full report.

As part of our members’ commitment to taking responsibility for their packaging throughout its lifecycle, we’re inviting expressions of interest from members with special expertise or knowledge to join us in forming two technical advisory groups – one for compostable packaging, and another for fibre packaging (card and paper).
28 May 2020

Each of these packaging types has unique challenges when it comes to end of life resource recovery, be it collection, processing or end markets. Sound, scalable solutions will require input from those within the industry as well as others with specialist technical knowledge.

The Packaging Forum had previously formed a working group that was investigating the possible adoption of a compostable packaging standard. This group was disbanded pending the results of research being carried out on compostability of materials by other parties. The scope of the new advisory group will likely extend beyond establishing a standard.

The groups will explore the barriers and possible pathways to end of life solutions for these packaging types. Their findings and advice will inform decisions made by The Packaging Forum board. The terms of reference for the advisory groups will be established at the first meeting of interested parties. The Packaging Forum is committed to continue working collaboratively with other industry groups on these issues.

If you are interested in becoming a member of either of the groups, please register your expression of interest with Adele Rose (adele@packagingforum.org.nz) by 15 June 2020.

The Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme has published its first Accreditation Report, for the period from 1 April 2018 to 31 December 2019.
28 May 2020

The Packaging Forum set up soft plastics collections in 2015 and the soft plastic recycling scheme received accreditation as a voluntary product stewardship scheme under the Waste Minimisation Act in March 2018.

Chair of the scheme Malcolm Everts says that the scheme is a genuine example of a circular economy which directly funds collection, transport and processing: “The report shows a tale of two different years and reflects the massive changes in global recycling conditions. Different times need different approaches and we have evolved from collecting as much as possible and shipping it to offshore recyclers, to collecting what we can process here in Aotearoa. Local processing is critical, and we have built close partnerships with Future Post and Second Life Plastics.”

“We adapted the scheme to match collections with NZ processing capacity, plus we have put further focus on reduce and re-use initiatives like phasing out single use plastic bags. It is pointless collecting waste if there is nowhere to recycle it. In 2019, around 13 million bags, enough to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool were collected and recycled in New Zealand, and that’s without the shopping bags that have been banned. This is in contrast to 2018 when 100 million bags were dropped off for recycling, but overseas recycling markets dried up and we stopped collections temporarily to deal with the excess.”

Mr Everts added: “Product stewardship schemes must be flexible to adapt to the economic and environmental climate. Kiwis are engaged, and happy to clean, collect & deliver material for recycling. Industry is engaged under a voluntary approach and around 70% of brands that use soft plastic are scheme members funding the recycling service and taking steps within their own businesses to reduce plastic consumption where feasible.”
Scheme Manager Lyn Mayes agreed that flexibility and loyalty has been critical:

“Since the scheme received accreditation in March 2018, we first had to deal with the impact of China’s National Sword Policy which resulted in us suspending collections in early 2019 and this year we again suspended collections during COVID-19 lockdown. Throughout these changing times, I would like to thank the ongoing support and loyalty of our members, collection and processing partners and consumers.”

The report concludes that the principal limiting factor for the scheme is that there are only two processors in the North Island which are able to process post-consumer soft plastics and notes that expansion of processing capacity requires:

  • Demand for the plastic fence posts, garden edging, cable cover and other products currently being manufactured from soft plastic materials;
  • Investment in new processing facilities around New Zealand by central and local government in partnership with industry; and
  • There needs to be multiple “Future Posts” to create capacity; and Commitment by local and central government departments and Industry to purchase products made from recycled materials.

Click here to download the report.

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 kids are alright

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.

83 percent of people say colour coded bins help them recycle

Be a tidy Kiwi

“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.

Finding a bin

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.

79 percent of people will walk more than 10m to find a recycling bin.

Click here to read the full report

Gisborne selected for technologically advanced recycling bins

Smart recycling and rubbish bins are being introduced in Gisborne as part of a national campaign to reduce litter.
4 December 2019

The Let’s Put Litter in its Place campaign has seen more than 150 sets of bins installed in 17 regions around the country, including seven sets in Gisborne’s town and rural locations.

The Packaging Forum Litter Project Manager Lyn Mayes said Gisborne is well deserving of these Smart EYEFI bins.

IN THE MEDIA: Going tech to improve rubbish habits

“The Smart technology and features to reduce contamination that are being delivered to Gisborne, manage overflowing bins and improve ease of use and identification and each set has bins for recycling, glass and rubbish,” says Mayes.

“We trialled these bins around the country and found that they not only reduced contamination levels but our audits of the pilot bins also showed an improvement in overall behaviour. 81% of items disposed of in the yellow recycling bins and 99% of items in the blue glass bins were correctly placed. This is a fabulous result.”

Each recycling and rubbish bin has an EYEFI unit which provides an alert when bins are nearing capacity, and they’re emptied as required rather than on a schedule. As well as smart technology, the bins have been designed to make their purpose clearer for users.

Be a Tidy Kiwi Program Manager Richard Leckinger is excited to see the bins heading to the East Coast.

“One of the aspects of these new advanced bins heading to Gisborne is not only that they provide the nationally agreed colours for recycling and waste but they all have signage in te reo Māori and English,” Leckinger said.

“Almost 80% of people have said that the colours and signage make the bins easier to use and over the past three years, we have counted litter and monitored the impact of the new bins so we are seeing a measurable decrease in litter.”

In a National Litter Field Count conducted in May 2018 by Waste Not Consulting, an average of 19.5 items of litter per 1000m2 was counted in Gisborne, compared to the national average of 30.5 items.

Mayor Rehette Stoltz says while Gisborne has a better than average litter record, there’s always room for improvement.

“It’s great to see smart technology being used to reduce litter. We will be monitoring the data and utilising the routing technology to minimise servicing costs. I support the ‘Let’s Put Litter in its Place’ campaign and I’m pledging to Be a Tidy Kiwi and Put Litter in its Place. I’d like to see other kiwis doing the same,” said Mayor Rehette.

The campaign to take more colour coded bins into the regions has been developed by The Packaging Forum which promotes recycling under the Government’s Love NZ brand and The Auckland Litter Prevention Steering Group which manages the Be a Tidy Kiwi brand. The campaign is also supported by many councils around the country, the New Zealand Transport Agency and KiwiRail.

The installation of these bins follows the successful implementation of the technology over the past three years around the country. The campaign has also been supported by the Government, the Prime Minister and a number of celebrities (www.bandtogether.co.nz).

The $2.4 million project has received $1.72 million funding from The Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund with a national advertising and consumer awareness campaign “Let’s put litter in its place – it’s just how we do things around here,” supporting this investment in infrastructure.