16 Sep 2018

Horowhenua council to stop collecting soft plastics in recycling

8:37 pm on 16 September 2018

The Horowhenua District Council will stop collecting soft plastics in its kerbside recycling collections from next month.

No caption

Shopping bags are soft plastic. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

Soft plastics are those that can be scrunched up, and include food wrap, plastic shopping bags, food packets and bread bags.

Council environmental engineer Ryan Hughes said they had decided to stop collecting soft plastics because of the problems they cause during sorting.

"Recycling is sorted with machinery, and soft plastics can jam the machinery and cause delays," he said.

In addition, changes to the global recycling market mean fewer people want to buy soft plastics.

From 1 October, recycling crates in Horowhenua containing soft plastic will not be emptied.

Until 7 October, residents whose recycling crates are not emptied because they contain soft plastics can remove those plastics and have their recycling collected the next day.

The change will bring Horowhenua District Council into line with most other councils around the country, which do not allow soft plastics in their recycling collections.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that soft plastics being collected by the nationwide scheme run by the Packaging Forum were being stockpiled as a new recycler is found.

That scheme relies on people taking their soft plastics to a bin at a supermarket.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs