New Zealand joins world recycling elite
by David Masters
October 16, 2008
New Zealand’s Packaging Accord scheme is a shining example to the rest of the world of how a country can drastically approve its recycling levels.
Since the five year scheme was set up in 2004 New Zealand’s recycling rate for packaging has hit 60%, recorded as a percentage of consumption.
This is equal to or better than rates achieved in Europe, the USA, and Australia.
The Packaging Accord scheme was set up four years ago in partnership between New Zealand’s environment ministry, the Packaging Council, local government ministers, and recycling operators.
Chair of the scheme, Tony Nowell, said that since Packaging Accord’s inception, New Zealand is now recovering an extra 69,000 tonnes of packaging per year.
That’s equivalent to eight football fields filled with packaging.
Consumption has increased by 5.4%, yet packaging recycling has increased 17%.
Recycling rates for paper packaging have also hit a new ‘world class’ high at 78%, whilst glass is at 62%.
In addition, Nowell pointed out that the Make a Difference campaign to reduce carrier bag use in New Zealand has had a positive effect, cutting plastic bags used per year by 99 million.
Paul Curtis, executive director of the packaging council, said the results of the scheme demonstrate that recycling is becoming a ‘way of life’ for New Zealanders.
He added that the Packaging Accord scheme is a brilliant example of what can be achieved if a number of groups work in partnership towards a shared goal.
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