Executive director Paul Curtis announced the record high for the amount of packaging recovered as a percentage of consumption saying the council has already surpassed the Packaging Accord's recycling targets for paper and steel "and we are at least 95 per cent of the way to achieving our recycling targets for aluminium, glass and plastic.
"Overall 57 per cent of our packaging was collected in the past year which is a massive 67,500 tonnes more than the year before. To put this in perspective, this increase equates to an annual saving of around 33,000 tonnes of CO2 or taking around 8,000 cars off the road," he says, using a model created by the New South Wales Department of Environment and Conservation.
This "mass balance data" is compiled annually to track recovery levels and trends of packaging waste to landfill. The collation of the data is a key part of the Packaging Council's commitment to the Packaging Accord (2004) which sets out targets for packaging recovery by 2008. It charts progress by packaging type and against the accord targets and this data shows an increase for each type of material with paper and steel exceeding their targets two years early.
Mr Curtis says that this achievement was a credit to the cooperation between packaging manufacturers, brand owners and retailers, recycling operators, local and central government.
"This is an excellent result which sees us well placed to exceed our accord targets in 2009 and set future targets knowing that householders are recycling more and more.
"Our recycling rate is slightly higher than Australia's and for some packaging types such as paperboard, we are amongst the world leaders for recycling. What is more, recovery is now consistently outpacing the amount of packaging waste per capita to landfill."
"We are getting better at recycling and at developing economic markets particularly for materials which have been more of a problem such as glass and plastics. We are also better equipped to collect and interpret the data. When we first started collating this data over 12 years ago, we took the view that imports of filled steel and aluminium cans largely matched exports, however it is now clear that we are producing less here for consumption in New Zealand and exporting more. Matching production data with supermarket sales data we are now able to reflect this trend in our numbers."
The Packaging Council's data shows a worrying seven per cent overall decrease in the domestic production of packaging, suggesting that more manufacturing is moving overseas and the increase in consumer demand is being met by more imported products.
|Material||Produced (tonnes)||Consumed (tonnes)||Recovered (tonnes)||Recovery %||Accord Target|