New report shows we're likely to be recycling our Christmas wrapping this year

  • David Benson-Pope

A new report shows there is more than a good chance New Zealanders will be recycling their Christmas wrapping and packaging this year, Environment Minister David Benson-Pope said today.

The Ministry for the Environment report entitled Waste Management in New Zealand – A decade of progress says that more than 95 per cent of New Zealanders now have access to recycling facilities and the report shows that we are recycling more waste than ever before.

The research, which looks at changes in waste management policies and practices over the past 10 years, shows that 77 per cent of local councils now provide kerbside recycling for glass, paper and plastics, compared to only 10 per cent of councils in 1994. New Zealanders have also increased the amount of used packaging material they recycle from an estimated 130,000 tonnes in 1994 to almost 340,000 tonnes in 2004 – an increase of 160 percent.

"In 1994 we were recycling only about 30 percent of our packaging, we are now recycling over half," said Mr Benson-Pope. "Christmas always generates a mountain of paper and packaging – the report shows that more New Zealanders than ever will be putting this out for recycling.

"This is partly due to the improved access to recycling facilities. The challenge in our small country, however, is to find users of recycled products so that they can be put to a good use. This is not always easy.

“There is still more we can do to reduce, reuse and recover waste. Waste concerns everyone. We have been working alongside local and regional councils, industries and communities towards a waste-free New Zealand. We aren’t there yet but I am confident we will continue to make further progress,” said the Minister.

The Waste Management in New Zealand – A decade of progress report is based on a review of New Zealand’s waste management practices conducted by the Ministry for the Environment for the OECD.

Waste Management in New Zealand – A decade of progress
Click here to view the full report,
Cick here to view the summary