Recent media interest in the viability of recycling should not stop New Zealanders putting out their cans, paper, glass and plastic containers, according to the Packaging Council.
“Whilst commodity prices undoubtedly put pressure on some recycling operations, feedback from our members suggests that markets for clean, uncontaminated, well sorted materials are holding up well given the current economic climate,” executive director Paul Curtis says.
“According to the Scrap Metal Association scrap metal prices are currently sitting at around the same level they were four years ago with buyers starting to return to the market and prices remaining fairly stable.”
And New Zealand’s only glass manufacturer O-I NZ is looking to increase its volume of recovered glass by 70,000 tonnes with $78-million investment in new furnace in Auckland. Good quality paper and plastics are still attracting the top level of returns, Curtis says.
“Essentially what our members are saying is that those who have invested in technology and infrastructure to convert high quality recovered materials into high quality new products are holding up well.
“In terms of lower grade materials, many countries around the world have embraced energy from waste – we should not be so reticent in New Zealand. We hope the proposed changes to the RMA will enable this. It is important that New Zealanders continue to put out their recyclables because the discussion which is going on at the moment is more about who should pay for the costs of recycling rather than whether we should recycle.”
For more information go to www.packaging.org.nz