Spotlight on Circularity Programmes: June 2021 Update
As part of the Plastics New Zealand ‘Advancing the Circular Economy for Plastics' Programme the Design Advisory Service 'CircularConnect' Pilot kicks off and provides an update on the Polypropylene Working Group - Polypropylene: Are we wasting a valuable material?
Design Advisory Service: CircularConnect Pilot Kicks Off
Plastics NZ’s design advisory service, CircularConnect, has kicked off a pilot programme and we’ve received our first applications. The vision of CircularConnect is to create a more sustainable Aotearoa New Zealand with less waste by embracing circularity in the design of our systems, products and packaging.
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 the circular plastics project!
DESIGN ADVISORY SUBSIDY
Watch this space to learn more about Circular Connect and how we can help advance the circular economy for plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand.
CircularConnect forms part of the programme of work funded by the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund to advance the new plastics economy in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Working Groups - Polypropylene: Are we wasting a valuable material?
Polypropylene (“PP”) is a highly recyclable and sought after material in Aotearoa NZ with strong value and a corresponding end market. Many manufacturers are wanting to secure more NZ recycled polypropylene (“rPP”) rather than having to import it. Today, we still have PP being sold offshore in mixed bales as well as PP being sent to landfill.
So what’s happening?
Plastics NZ is facilitating a national working group to help create circular pathways for PP in NZ. 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.
Our second working group meeting on 8 June 2021, and we are now in the process of developing a roadmap and workplan for area of focus the group can undertake across the stages of the recycling process: collection, sorting, reprocessing and remanufacture.
There are approximately 20 councils around NZ that aren’t yet collecting PP (see Plastic Collection Map above). We’re having discussions with various councils and MRFs to see what the barriers are for collection, and sorting and to see if there was any help we might provide to overcome these barriers. The concerns are wide ranging:
- the stability of the PP end market
- lack of access to information about who is purchasing rPP and what those brands are making from the material
- costs associated with collecting and sorting PP
Two of the largest population bases, Tauranga City Council and Hutt City Council are both starting PP collection as of 1 July 2021. We also recently saw Palmerston North City Council move from collecting 1-7 plastic to collecting 1, 2 and 5 only.
Today, in Aotearoa we have 70% of councils collecting PP, and this represents 85% of our overall population. Is it time for a nationwide marketing campaign around the recyclability of PP and the stories of what is actually happening onshore and the products that are being created from rPP?
The next meeting will be held in August 2021.