Soft plastic recycling boxes are back.
The Love NZ Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme, which was suspended in 2018, has returned to Auckland and Hamilton and will be back in Wellington from October.
It can be confusing to try to keep track of what to recycle, what not to recycle, and what is just garbage. We all make mistakes sometimes, and there is not always a clear set of recycling rules.
Although we expect the people who filled the green trash cans with coffee cups and food last time knew better. So let's do a quick refresher course.
* Soft plastic recycling back to Hamilton and Wellington
* Inside Future Post: How a Kiwi company turns plastic bags into fences
* A big zero: Was the soft plastic recycling plan wasted time and money?
A & # 39; Soft Plastic & # 39; can be easily squeezed in your hand – think most lunch packs, carrier bags and wrappers. They cannot go to general recycling because they are too small and malleable, and pick up the processing machines.
Disposable plastic bags used to make up 10 per cent of NZ's soft plastic. We put 400 tonnes of them in storage after the Australian company Replas refused to take any more from us in 2018, and Kiwi companies Future Post and 2nd Life Plastic (which mainly produce fence posts from the waste) were temporarily overloaded.
The average Auckland grocery store now collects 168 kg of soft plastic, down from 174 kg a year ago.
"As consumers become more aware of soft plastic impact, they make better choices for reducing waste, such as using reusable bags and packaging. We're already seeing it in supermarkets," said the Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme, leads Malcolm Everts.
Disposable plastics, including soft plastics, accounted for 77 percent of garbage picked up by Sustainab le Coastlines around New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, according to the Auckland Council Waste Management and Minimization Plan 2018.
FUTURE POST / SUPPLIED
Old plastic bags will be turned into fence posts by the new recycling company Future Post.  WHAT IS SOFT PLASTIC
- Bread, pasta and rice bags
- Fresh raw materials and netting of citrus bags
- Frozen food bags (frozen vegetables, fries, burgers, nuggets, poultry, etc.)
- Silver lined trays and sugars : "Thin foil-like plastic sleeves and packages that some biscuits, chocolate bars, biscuits and chips come in are nice to be recycled."
- Dairy packages
- Plastic packaging around toilet paper, kitchen towels, diapers and sanitary products
- Bid packages
- Newspaper paper
- Chocolate and muesli bar packages and cookie packages (only packaging)
- Corn box liners
- Corn box liners
- furniture is supplied for insert (cut into pieces the size of an A3 sheet first)
Small paper labels can be left behind. If paper covers most of the object, it should be omitted.
WHAT IS NOT MUCH PLASTIC
This seems counter-intuitive, since the cling film is both soft and plastic.
But for something to be recycled, it must be clean, dry, and empty. The scheme does not accept solid films because "experience shows that this is often contaminated with food," Everts said.
This is common sense. Compostable products are designed to be … Composted.
Bags labeled (bio) degradable or compostable are specially produced to break down the general waste stream. "We can't use them for recycling because they start to deteriorate before being treated," Everts adds.
- Heavy foil bags, e.g. Dog cookie bags
- Bags that are contaminated with food and / or liquid or that cannot be easily cleaned
- Biscuit tray
HOW GOOD WE SORT RECYCLING?
In the interest of honest journalism, I took a very unscientific round around Stuff & # 39; 's Auckland newsroom to include bins.
So how good is our office in getting recycling right? The answer is not very.
At least two soft plastic bins were contaminated by dirty, hard plastic articles; Although there are signs with pictures describing what should go into each garbage right above them.
The easiest way to make soft plastic recycling out of your regular routine is to store it in a reusable bag. Chop it in the trunk when you go to your weekly grocery store, then empty it in one of the green trash cans on the way in.
WHY IS IT NOT BINDING IN MY AREA?
"We are taking a phased approach to expansion to continuously monitor the volumes we collect," Everts said.
Collections in select stores in Wellington and Hutt Valley start again in October. Right now there are no processors on Sørøya, so the scheme does not plan to start collections there again in the near future.
"The scheme is funded and run by the business community that develops several products to use plastics," Everts said. "We hope to see soft plastic recycling projects funded in this year's funding round and through an additional $ 40 million in funding announced through the Provincial Growth Fund.
" It is only with a significant increase in processing capacity, including South Island, that the scheme can deliver their full potential. "
Everts also wants us all to think about whether we can use reusable alternatives, and to make sure what we do from ours. Recycling is clean, dry and empty.
In general, we don't wash soft plastic well enough.
"People don't realize that someone (a human being) will actually sort through it, and not one deserves to sort through your smelly chicken package," environmental blogger and activist Kate Hall.
If soft plastic recycling is not available to you, do not try to include it in a general recycling bin, throw it in the trash instead.
"It is a common misconception that everything can be recycled if they are discarded that in the trash, people call it & # 39; wish cycling & # 39 ;, "Hall said." But they don't know that this decision can pollute the entire garbage bin, which means it's all just thrown in the garbage dump. "
If waste is not made, no one needs to recycle it t basically. Recycling is a bit like the trampoline at the bottom of a cliff. Reducing consumption and reusable products is the fence on top of that.
"I think there's so much hype about plastic and soft recycling, while the real problem is stopping it all together," Hall said. "People love to say" I'm recycling! "And get a pat on the back when we really should reuse and reduce instead.
" As a zero-wash attempt, I try my best to treat my recycling as my waste: I avoid both as much as possible. "
Collective efforts have an impact.