The New Zealand Packaging Accord has met or exceeded recycling targets for each packaging material, according to the final progress report released by the Accord’s Governing Board.
Tony Nowell, chair of the Governing Board outlined that this was an impressive result given the impact of the recession on commodity prices particularly for paper, steel and plastics.
The Board continues that last year packaging recovery fell back slightly to 58 per cent across all materials however this is in the context that:
- New Zealand packaging production increased overall by 1.8 per cent
- Consumption increased by 4 per cent overall with the exception of steel which has declined
- Recovery increased by 2 per cent with all sectors reporting increased tonnages except for paper
- Collection of steel, aluminium and plastics has increased with the introduction of the Auckland Materials Recovery Facility
Nowell says, “Trading conditions are tougher than ever. Achieving the targets set during a more prosperous global economy in 2004 has required an enormous effort by all parties. Since 2004 the total quantity of packaging recycled increased by 26 per cent, whereas consumption of packaging increased at a slower pace by 14 per cent.
He continues, “On a per capita basis the quantity recycled by every New Zealander increased by from 83kg to 100kg. In total, New Zealanders would fill about 22,000 shipping containers with their recycling each year.”
The Board also outlined that there has been continuous innovation in packaging design, development of new end use markets and investment in recovery facilities. It adds that brands have reduced the packaging used on products, which has reduced the use raw materials, saved transport costs and greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce the amount of waste consumers, businesses and local authorities have to deal with.
Paul Curtis, executive director of the Packaging Council of New Zealand, which commissioned the analysis says, “We now have four years of data about which messages resonate with the media and the wider New Zealand public.”
He continues, “Not surprisingly plastic bags have occupied the most column inches. We have used the survey results to help us identify the best method of encouraging New Zealanders to recycle. Perception often becomes reality so communication is important.”