New Zealand’s Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme has suspended collections, but plans to resume a sustainable service in April 2019. FMCG Business heard from industry sources that new machinery and improved recycling facilities are currently being investigated.

“We’ve been extremely encouraged by Kiwis’ commitment to recycling their soft plastics yet changes to global recycling have meant that we’re now collecting more than we can currently process in New Zealand,” states the website .

“A suspension to the service will give us time to work with existing processing partners to build capacity, as well as find new and innovative processing solutions. The removal of single use carrier bags from all NZ supermarkets will also help reduce plastic volumes.”

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The suspension of the soft plastic scheme in New Zealand is a reflection of the low demand for some mixed recycled plastics, commented Packaging NZ Executive Director Sharon Humphreys. “It is a sad fact that the market for commodities including recycled wastes varies hugely over time.” Attempts by the Government and/or other organisation to artificially increase the rate and or type of material recycled can work for a while but do not have a good history of success.

Packaging NZ has a strong record of arguing for integrated and evidence-based policy aimed at cost effective minimisation of waste. That starts with efficacious packaging which prevents waste in the first place. “Our members are as concerned as anyone at the environmental harm caused by inappropriate handling and disposal of waste”, said Humphreys,” but have long advocated for a joined up approach, rather than perpetuating fragmented solutions”.


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