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Report says government grants fail to reduce packaging waste in New Zealand

PKBR Staff Writer Published 08 December 2015

A report from Envision New Zealand revealed that grants from government to boost beverage container recycling have failed to reduce packaging waste in New Zealand.

beverage bottles

The InCENTive to Recycle report is calling for the reintroduction of a mandatory container deposit scheme (CDS) in a bid to encourage recycling and reduce litter.

Under the CDS, people are required to bring empty bottles to recycling centers or shops for a small refund.

The recycling initiative, when put in place, is anticipated to increase beverage container recycling by 45,000 tons every year.

In addition to diverting 180,000 cubic meters of waste from landfill, CDS is expected to create thousands of jobs.

Figures released by the report show that the country can save around $40m in waste disposal costs every year by implementing the recycling initiative.

Envision New Zealand business development director Warren Snow said: "You won't see bottles lying in the gutter, tossed over banks or drifting out to the sea when they are worth 10 cents.

"There's nothing like a financial incentive to get people to recycle."

According to the report, around $7m provided by the government in grants to recycle beverage containers was used by groups representing corporate packaging and beverage industries to stop container deposits.

Envision developed a model for a Nation-wide Bottle Deposit Scheme which would increase recycling rates to 85%, create up to 2,400 new jobs.

The model would allow the establishment of 200 or more drop off points where people can claim their refund.

Image: The recycling initiative is anticipated to increase beverage container recycling by 45,000 tons every year. Photo: courtesy of Paul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.