From 1 July, Nelson City Council will only collect plastic types 1, 2 and 5 for recycling. As we count down the days until the change we have worked on a series of top recycling tips to help you recycle in the best way possible. Here is our latest tip:
My coffee cup says it is compostable, does that mean I can recycle it?
Lots of containers look like plastic but are actually compostable or biodegradable (type No 7), which means they can’t be recycled with other plastics. Unless they clearly state home compostable (so they can go in your compost bin) they are best off in landfill so that they don’t contaminate the rest of your recycling, where they will break down faster than other plastics.
Plastics 3, 4, 6 and 7 are not recyclable in New Zealand. While there are still some limited overseas markets for these plastics, we are concerned they could in fact end up in the world’s oceans and rivers. As a responsible Council we have decided that we cannot in good conscience send these plastics overseas to potentially end up as someone else’s rubbish.
The good news is that plastic types 1,2 and 5 make up 85% of the plastic that New Zealander’s buy, so we are still recycling the vast majority of plastic waste in Nelson. For the rest – reducing the plastic we buy is the best option. We’ve written to supermarkets and retailers asking them to phase out plastic that can’t be recycled in New Zealand, but why not take a moment to see if there are ways to avoid buying products packaged in plastic types 3,4,6 and 7.