Spotlight on Circularity Programmes: July 2021 Update
As part of the Plastics New Zealand ‘Advancing the Circular Economy for Plastics' Programme, the Design Advisory Service 'CircularConnect' provides an update and the Polypropylene Working Group updates its progress on creating circular pathways for this valuable resource.
Design Advisory Service: CircularConnect July 2021
We’ve been out talking to brands and without a doubt one of the key themes they continue ask about is sustainability.
Recent consumer research undertaken by Colmar Brunton for Retail NZ (2021) showed that 86% of consumers want to “do the right thing” when it comes to what they purchase and who they purchase it from. The four biggest issues that consumers continue to highlight are:
- Over packaging and non-recyclable packaging
- Litter entering our waterways
- Too much household waste
- Single use plastic
These are trends that brands are having to respond to and this means they will equally be speaking with their manufacturing partners about these issues.
CircularConnect is all about creating a more sustainable Aotearoa New Zealand with less waste by embracing circularity in the design of our systems, products and packaging.
If you or one of your customers is interested in learning about how to reduce plastic waste, here’s how CircularConnect works.
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 CircularConnect.
(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!
· Phase 1: Discovery – Plastics NZ will be able to subsidise 50% of the cost of the consulting (up to $3,500)
· Phase 2: Feasibility & Development - Plastics NZ will be able to subsidise 50% of the cost of the consulting (up to $20,000)
· Phase 3: Implementation - There is no subsidy available for this phase
To learn more about CircularConnect and how we can help advance the circular economy for plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand, go to https://www.plastics.org.nz/environment/circular-connect.
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.
Advancing the Circular Economy for Plastics - 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.
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 is any help we might provide to overcome these barriers.
Tauranga City Council and Hutt City Council have both just started PP collection as of 1 July 2021. We also recently saw Horowhenua Council move from collecting 1-7 plastic to collecting 1, 2 and 5 only.
Today, in Aotearoa while we only have 70% of councils collecting PP, this represents 85% of our overall population.
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 met 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. Our areas of focus are on:
- Education and Communication
- Technology and Infrastructure
- Ensuring PP retains its value
The next meeting will be held in August 2021.
Download a copy of the Interactive Plastic Collection Map: https://www.plastics.org.nz/environment/recycling-disposal/polypropylene-recycling-5.
Plastics NZ’s facilitation of working groups forms part of Plastics NZ’s ‘Advancing the Circular Economy for Plastics” programme, funded by the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund.