As part of the Plastics New Zealand ‘Advancing the Circular Economy for Plastics' Programme; Working groups updates - PP (5), EPS protective packaging (6) and Lids/Cap and get on the front foot with plastics in your business via the Design Advisory - Circular Connect!

 

Working Groups Update: April 2022

Polypropyene Working Group

PP Collection

Over the last year, New Zealand has seen the levels of polypropylene (#5 PP) being collected across the country increase with more regions opting to collect this valuable material. Thirteen regions have made the change within the last 12 months.

The percentage of population of New Zealand that now has improved access to #5 PP recycling has grown from 81.3% (in March 2021) to ~95% (in April 2022). In real numbers, this equates to nearly 4.7.5 million people (up from 4.06 million at the start of 2021). This is a significant milestone for our working group, as from a post-consumer rigid plastic recycling perspective, it is time to focus on the message around #1 (PET), #2 (HDPE) and #5 (PP) being key in the circular economy. This is echoed in government’s proposal to include #5 PP as a nationally targeted material for kerbside recycling.

Interested in learning more about recycled #5 PP?

We’ve written a report on PP in Aotearoa NZ. If you’d like to download a copy, go to: https://www.plastics.org.nz/environment/recycling-disposal/polypropylene-recycling-5

Find out more

If you’d like to find out more, please contact Sandy Botterill, Circular Economy Manager on 027 535 3298 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This working group is part of Plastics NZ’s ‘Advancing the Circular Economy for Plastics” programme which is aimed at helping Aotearoa NZ create a Low Emissions Circular Economy. This programme is co-funded by the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund.

The Conundrum of Lids and Caps

 Caps 1 Caps 2 Caps 3 Caps 4

What’s the problem?

Plastic lids and caps have been an issue in Aotearoa New Zealand’s resource recovery system for some time with the majority of lids and caps going to landfill as they are unable to be effectively recovered at material recovery facilities due to their size. In addition, a large proportion of councils around the country ask residents to remove lids from bottles in an effort to ensure that the main bottle is free of food contaminants.

What’s happening?

We are collaborating with the Packaging Forum on a short pilot to test how to effectively collect, sort, transport and reprocess lids and caps (both plastic and metal). We are aiming to involve schools in the Hawkes Bay region (Primary and Intermediate) to participate in a competition to collect the most metal and plastic lids/caps.

We will be partnering with Lions Clubs NZ, Waste Management and a number of brands to bring this pilot to life. Any proceeds from the sale of materials to reprocessors will go to our charity partner. The pilot is proposed to run over in Term 3 (10 weeks) of the school year (July to September 2022).

Find out more

If you’d like to find out more, please contact Sandy Botterill, Circular Economy Manager on 027 535 3298 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This working group is part of Plastics NZ’s ‘Advancing the Circular Economy for Plastics” programme which is aimed at helping Aotearoa NZ create a Low Emissions Circular Economy. This programme is co-funded by the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund. 

Interested in EPS Protective Packaging?

EPS 

The NZ Ministry for the Environment (“MFE”) undertook public consultation in 2020 in relation to reducing the impact of plastic on our environment with the outcome being the mandatory phaseout of a number of problematic plastics and applications. It was also identified that more work was needed in relation to the Expanded Polystyrene (“EPS”) used for cold chain and protective packaging. MFE indicated, at the time of making the phaseout announcements, that they planned to work with sector experts to identify possible solutions and areas where alternatives could be used.

EPS packaging is often perceived as harmful to the environment as it is very lightweight, and easily windblown, thereby having an increased risk of entering the environment as well as being difficult to manage in landfill due to its high volume and low weight. It is, however, the light weight of EPS, combined with its excellent thermal and impact properties, that also make it very difficult to find viable alternatives in many packaging applications.

Scope of the EPS Protective Packaging Working Group

Plastics NZ is leading the EPS Protective Packaging Working Group will be focused on B2C consumer packaging (e.g. whiteware, electronics, home appliances). The aim is to:

  • Gathering information and providing recommendations on applications where EPS protective packaging could be feasibly phased out in our supply chains in NZ; and

  • Codesign and recommend a framework for a national product stewardship programme for EPS protective packaging in NZ.

 The scope excludes:

  • EPS packaging used in Cold Chain (e.g. transportation of seafood, pharmaceuticals, etc); and

  • B2B protective packaging (e.g. transportation of lab equipment, packaging for large scale commercial air conditioning systems, etc).

Find out more

If you’d like to find out more, please contact Sandy Botterill, Circular Economy Manager on 027 535 3298 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This working group is part of Plastics NZ’s ‘Advancing the Circular Economy for Plastics” programme which is aimed at helping Aotearoa NZ create a Low Emissions Circular Economy. This programme is co-funded by the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund. 

Design Advisory Service: CircularConnect April 2022

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We hear from businesses every day that want to get on the front foot around the plastics in their business.

Perhaps you’re looking to:

  • Minimize the amount of plastic you’re using in your business?

  • Ensure your product or packaging is effectively recycled in the NZ resource recovery system?

  • Recover your plastics materials to ensure they don’t go to landfill?

  • Develop a product stewardship or refill programme to give your plastic material another life?

  • Develop your products so that they’re easy to repair?

Get in touch to see if your business could qualify for co-funding

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How it works

(1) Get in touch with Plastics NZ if you or a business you work with wants to get more circular in the plastics you create or use. We’ll have a quick preliminary discussion to determine if the project will fit the funding criteria for Circular Connect.

(2) Complete a short Application Form.

(3) We’ll connect you with 2-3 potential experts who can help if you don’t have someone you work with already. You can then decide which expert you think will work with your organisation best.

(4) We sign a Funding Agreement which details the specifics of the project, the level of funding and the dates for completion.

(5) Get started on your circular plastics project!

Find out more

If you or one of your customers is interested in learning more about CircularConnect, go to https://www.plastics.org.nz/environment/circular-connect.

OR

Contact Sandy Botterill, Circular Economy Manager on 027 535 3298 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CircularConnect STRAPLINE CMYK

 

 

 

CircularConnect forms part of the programme of work co-funded by the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund to advance the new plastics economy in Aotearoa New Zealand.