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27 March 2020
The country’s leading packaging member-based organisation is eager to work with Government to bring an end to plastic waste in New Zealand.
9 December 2019
The Packaging Forum, which represents the depth and breadth of the country’s packaging industry, supports the creation of a National Plastics Action Plan including focusing on three priority areas; standardised nationwide kerbside recycling which will enable the roll out of nationally recognised “how and where” to recycle labelling on packaging, which in turn will support investment in onshore processing facilities.
This follows the release yesterday (8 December) of the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand report by the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Professor Juliet Gerrard.
The Forum’s Independent Chair Rob Langford says the report contains a number of important areas of focus. “We absolutely agree we need a National Plastics Action Plan – one which is led by industry and supported by Government,” he says. “Industry needs to lead this as they are the experts on the vital role packaging has to play in containing and protecting food and other products as they move through the supply chain to the consumer.”
The Forum already delivers a number of voluntary product stewardship solutions and projects including those for plastic packaging. In July 2018, The Forum’s members pledged to make all their packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable (in NZ) by 2025.
“The pledge shows industry is already taking steps to lead the way to a plastics waste-free future through their commitment to product stewardship.”
For there to be significant action on reducing plastic waste in particular it is important that not only industry take action, but consumers and recyclers are part of the solution, facilitated by Government action, Rob says.
The Forum supports a consistent on-pack recycling labelling system which clearly indicates to consumers how and where to recycle the packaging, and that it has integrity and compliance enforced by an independent government agency.
However, one significant obstacle in launching a national recycling label is that what can be recycled at kerbside varies from council to council around the country, he says.
“The effectiveness of a recycling label will only be as good as the consistency of recycling services nationwide for the packaging material. Until we have consistency of what can be recycled at kerbside across New Zealand to at least 60% coverage, then all labels would need to refer back to the manufacturer or the Council and that defeats the purpose of the label.
“Therefore, we strongly recommend that any announcement about a labelling system goes hand in hand with an announcement to standardise recycling services.”
Investment in onshore processing facilities for the collected material is also vitally important, Rob says. “To move to a circular economy, we have to develop onshore recycling capacity and add value to our collected materials rather than relying on other countries to recycle our waste.”
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.