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Plastic’s fantastic – in the right place!

Plastic’s fantastic – in the right place!

Manukau households are being asked to put only plastic bottles 1 and 2 from the kitchen, bathroom and laundry in their green recycling bins from next Monday (17 November).

All other plastics go into the rubbish bag.

The change to the plastic collections is part of a regionwide move to reduce unnecessary handling of plastics which cannot be re-used by industry to manufacture new products.

Bottles 1 and 2, on the other hand, turn up again as new plastic bottles, garden pots, buckets – and even green recycling bins.

Manukau City Council’s senior policy analyst Patricia Facenfield says there are two main reasons for the change in plastic collections.

“The first is a change in the markets for recycled plastics. While manufacturers are crying out for the plastic that comes from bottles with a 1 or 2 on their bottoms, other plastics are having to be sent to landfill because no-one wants them.

“The reason we are asking for bottles only is that some other plastic containers marked with a 1 or 2 – some food containers for example - cannot be mixed with plastic from bottles.”

Auckland City Council and Papakura District Council are also introducing the changes this month. Many other New Zealand cities have only ever collected plastic bottles 1 and Mrs Facenfield says councils are working with the plastics and packaging industries to improve the labelling and quality of plastics.

“We want to reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfill, so the more genuinely recyclable material we can collect through recycling bins the better.”

She says Manukau households are among the best recyclers in the country. “Eighty per cent of households are using their recycling bins.

“Since recycling began in April 2001, they have diverted approximately 45,000 cubic metres of waste from landfill back to industry.

“That’s enough waste to cover two football pitches to a depth of five metres.”

There would be no change to any other recyclables. Paper, aluminium and tin cans, and glass jars and bottles will all continue to be collected as usual.

A brochure outlining the change to plastics will be delivered to Manukau households early next week.

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