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Updated info on recycling plastic bottles

After our post Recycling Reduced about the cut back to kerbside recycling locally we were asked why not the #2 janitorial bottles, which seemed like a perfectly good question. So armed with a few facts from Jo Shanks at CBEC Ecosolutions I emailed Andrew Sclater at Northland Waste to find out, and this was his reply:

Hi Anna, Thanks for your email. 

With regards to janitorial bottles we have been advised the coloured composition of janitorial bottles have little demand right now. We have been advised the clear janitorial bottles are still vulnerable. Unfortunately the markets are volatile at the moment and some processors are reluctant to take material if it cannot be recycled appropriately.

From our understanding janitorial bottles are certainly made of a higher grade plastic but the “coloured” resin restricts the future use of the product. Many recyclers have issues with contaminated material and it is often the reason material is rejected. We encourage consumers to clean and rinse materials before they are collected.

We will continue to gather as much information as possible and when markets exists let our customers know as soon as practical.

If you have any other questions we are happy to ask/pass on to the recycling processors. 

Regards, Andrew

So yes, contamination is a factor, it will be interesting to see what our local experts make of the coloured resin theory. We’ll be keeping an eye on progress, both locally and nationally and let you know any developments. Remember numbers 1-6 can still be recycled at the Resource Recovery/Transfer stations, it’s just the kerbside collections that won’t take them… for now!

There has been huge disappointment locally about the changes, especially those who thought by using the Ecostore products that they were on to a good thing. One local raised the problem of janitorial bottles with Ecostore directly through Facebook (yay Jen!) and they are now looking in to it – who says one person can’t make a difference?!

For those of you who are keen to keep using the Ecostore multi-purpose cleaner, laundry liquid and dishwashing liquid you can of course head up to CBEC on Pukepoto Road and refill your bottles in the Garden Centre shop.

RD1 on Matthews Ave sell the Ecostore toilet cleaner in 5ltr containers and their washing powder in 4.5kg boxes. At least buying in bulk reduces the number of containers involved.

Of course the alternative is to use this as a great opportunity to reduce your cleaning product waste even further! There’s not much you can’t get clean without baking soda and white vinegar. At the EcoCentre we have just the books, and the baking soda, for you! Lyn’s book Pig Tits & Parsley Sauce has just about sold out of this print run, and more won’t be available until January – so pop in soon if you want a copy! You’ll soon save yourself the price of buying any (or even all!) of the books if you use their advice, and you’ll have heaps more space in your cupboards as no matter what the adverts say, you really don’t need a new bottle of cleaning product for every task. 5 litre containers of white vinegar are available both at Cavalier’s on Puckey Avenue, and at Pak’nSave.

So go on, why not give it a go? Recycling is great, but far from the solution to plastic waste, the less we use of any number the better.

There is some good plastic news though…

The Packaging Forum, which runs the Love NZ Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme, has now partnered with new company Future Post to convert some of the stockpile of soft plastics into fence posts, which will hopefully help solve that issue, and add soft plastics back on to the kerbside collection list.

And at the WasteMINZ Annual Hui in Christchurch last week local campaigner Warren Snow was there with the Kiwi Bottle Drive team. Their campaigner Rowan talked bottle deposits with people across the board from the beverage industry, local councils and zero waste hubs and everyone was excited about #BottleDeposits! On top of that Warren won the People’s Choice Award for his (immense) contributions to the waste minimisation sector. Warren’s mahi and expertise over the last two decades has been fully focused on helping Aotearoa shift gears towards zero waste and it’s wonderful for his efforts to be acknowledged in this way. We’re all proud of you Warren and look forward to hearing all about it!

For more info on what Warren, Rowan, Holly and the team have been up to follow the links below:

by Anna Dunford

photos courtesy of Kiwi Bottle Drive Facebook page

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