Potential Recycling Reform

Flat lay of recyclable food packaging

The Ministry for the Environment has released a proposal to reform New Zealand's recycling procedures. Current techniques are in drastic need of an update, with current kerbside collections being increasingly inconsistent and wasting 70,000 tonnes of contaminated recycling each year.

Proposals for the new nationwide recycling system include separating green waste, standardising kerbside collection materials, and introducing a container return scheme.

The separation of green waste is proposed to become mandatory for all businesses. Instead of filling landfills, food waste can be used to feed animals, improve soil quality and generate energy.

There is currently no national consistency in kerbside collection material. The new proposal suggests standardising materials to decrease public confusion and completely separating organic waste with another collection bin.

The container return scheme (CRS) is an initiative set to encourage the recycling and recovery of food and beverage containers. A deposit will be paid on all purchases with a container, and it will be returned to the consumer when the container is subsequently returned to a CRS collection point.

Consultation for the proposal closes on the 8th of May, businesses interested in making a submission to the government should do so by then.