Plastics NZ currently has 3 working groups - Polypropylene (PP), EPS protective packaging and Lids/Caps.
Find out about their progress here:

Recycled Polypropylene – A valuable, sought after material in a circular economy

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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. Fourteen regions have made the change within the last 12 months, with Kaipara being the most recent addition.

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 ~95.5% (in May 2022). In real numbers, this equates to nearly 4.8 million people (up from 4.06 million at the start of 2021). 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 for plastics. Couldn’t be a better time for the government to be consulting on standardisation of kerbside recycling for Aotearoa NZ.

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..

Download the map here

 
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.

 

Good Caps: A pilot to help solve the conundrum of lids and caps

Good Caps

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. Lids and caps also often end up as litter. Sustainable Coastlines data shows 12,500 plastic lids and caps per annum and 1,200 metal lids and caps are entering the environment.

Today, the vast majority 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.

Lids Map

What’s happening?

Plastics NZ has collaborated with the Packaging Forum as well as a number of manufacturers and brands on a short pilot called Good Caps 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.

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). The aim of the pilot being implemented through schools is to share with young people and their whanau:

(1) the importance of saving materials from landfill;

(2) the value of the materials (particularly when separated into different material categories); and

(3) what can be made from these materials.

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..

Download the map here

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 (end of June 2022); and
  • Codesign and recommend a framework for a national product stewardship programme for EPS protective packaging in NZ (commencing in August/September 2022).

 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.