Rubbish At Recycling – New Zealand Ranks Second To Last In International Packaging Recyclability Trial
The results are in and it seems New Zealand clean green image isn’t so squeaky clean when it comes to recycling packaging.
Consumer organisations, including Consumer NZ, from nine countries assessed packaging recyclability and labelling of 11 popular products.
New Zealand ranked second to last in the trial, with 57% of the packaging assessed as not recyclable – only Brazil fared worse. In comparison, Australia had a 14% non-recyclable rate. France, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Portugal, and the United Kingdom also participated.
Products assessed were available in each country. The five products that weren’teasilyrecyclableinAotearoa were:
- KitKat chocolate bar
- M&M Peanut chocolates
- Pringles chips
- San Pellegrino Sparkling Water
- Toblerone chocolate bar.
Thepackaging forPringleswasparticularly bad, consisting of a tube made ofmixed materials(plastic, cardboard, foil and aluminium)thatcan’t be easily separated.
“It’s disappointing to see how poorly New Zealand fared when it comes to packaging recyclability. With 57% of packaging assessed as not recyclable, there’s a lot of room for improvement. It certainly doesn’t line up with the clean green image we pride ourselves on,” Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffy said.
“Part of the issue is that our recycling capabilities vary greatly throughout the country.”
The trial found thatno productwas 100% recyclableand labelling was often unclear and confusing for consumers.
What can you do?
Chooseproducts with packaging that’sclear, sleeveless (or remove sleeves before dropping into your recycling bin), and made fromplastics1, 2 or 5.
Avoidmixed material packaging(for example,thePringles tube).
Callonmanufacturersto use morerecyclable or alternative packaging,andto have clear labelling explaining how to recycle theirpackaging.
Takea few moments in the supermarket tochoose aproductthat’s more recyclable.
Chooseproducts that use recycled materials in their packaging.
Checkwith your councilaboutwhat can and can’t be recycled in your area,and recycleas much as you can(andmake sureit’sclean).
Read more about the global packaging recycling assessment here.