Plastic Recycling Cutbacks For Kāpiti

The Kāpiti Coast District Council (KCDC) says only certain types of plastic will be collected and recycled after May 1.

It says: “From 1 May your kerbside collection provider will only collect plastic types 1, 2 and 5 for recycling.”

The Council says types 3, 4, 6 and 7 will no longer be collected.

It says these had been shipped overseas, but are no longer accepted by most global markets.

However, says the KCDC: “Plastics numbered 1, 2 and 5 (which will be collected) make up 87% of plastics and can be recycled in New Zealand.”

No change for paper, glass and cans

There is no change to other types of recycling the collectors will take so you can still put clean paper, clean cardboard, glass and cans out for recycling.

Know your plastics

Plastic products are usually marked with a number from 1 to 7, showing what type of plastic it is.  The number is usually found on the bottom of the packaging.

Plastics numbered 1, 2 and 5 include:

  • water, juice, soft drink and milk bottles
  • shampoo and cleaning product bottles — and yoghurt containers and ice cream tubs.

Plastics numbered 3, 4, 6 and 7 include:

  • some biscuit trays
  • bread and produce bags
  • styrofoam cups and plates, and some meat trays.

Kerbside collection providers will be informing their customers of the changes directly in the coming weeks.

Cr Elliott’s view

The councils sustainable waste management expert, Cr Jackie Elliott, says waste sent overseas can end up as someone else’s rubbish, and incurs a large carbon cost.

Jackie Elliott

“The international markets for plastic have been reducing since 2017. The situation now is that most of the countries that used to take our plastic are not taking it anymore,” shesays.

“Unfortunately this means that plastics graded 3, 4, 6 and 7 are ending up in landfill, so many councils and collection companies around New Zealand are reviewing the way plastics are collected.”

Useful products created from plastic

KCDC Sustainability and Resilience Manager, Nienke Itjeshorst, says plastics numbered 1, 2 and 5 are ‘highly’ recyclable and there are companies in New Zealand recycling these types into useful products, such as wheelie bins, buckets, and fruit containers.

“We also encourage people to reduce buying packaging that cannot be recycled and reuse plastics as much as possible to minimise waste going to landfill, ” Mrs Itjeshorst says.

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