We all have a part to play in improving the environmental performance of plastics.
There are important things that individuals can do to influence the lifecycle environmental impacts of plastics.
Here is a simple six step guide to being environmentally smart with plastics:
Make sure all plastic packaging has the plastics identification code on it before you buy.
Choose not to take a plastic bag for small purchases. Buy in bulk containers. Buy things with less packaging e.g., a pouch instead of a bag in a box.
Bumper bars, wheelie bins, bread crates and much more can be repaired with plastic welding. Try the yellow pages for your local plastic repairers.
Buy recycled plastic products. Look for the Environmental Choice label http://www.environmentalchoice.org.nz/products_and_services/recycled_plastic_products/
Tip: get really green and buy a compost bin made from recycled milk bottles. Did you know a plastic (HDPE) compost bin can reuse 145 2litre milk bottles?
Is there a Council kerbside collection in your area? 97% of New Zealanders have access to community recycling facilities. Most will recycle bottles and containers with 1 and 2 symbols on them, and increasingly many are taking 3,4,5 & 6 as well so check with your local Council. Details are usually available on their website
Then check bottles and containers for the right Plastics Identification Code. Rinse and remove the lids before putting them in your recycle bin.
Plastic things you can easily recycle:
Is your school recycling? Find out how you can too - then come up with five different ways to recycle plastic at school.
Is your business recycling? See our recycling section for more information.
To find find a plastics recycling service in your local area try the WasteMINZ Recycling Directory.
In Auckland use the Auckland Council Recycling Directories (Commercial & Household Directories available)