We know Nelsonians have an excellent recycling ethos. Since the introduction of yellow bins in 2016, recycling in our Smart Little City has increased by 40%. But it’s really important we care about where our waste ends up.

With that in mind, Council is taking a stand against non-recyclable plastic from 1 July 2020. From that date, Council will only collect plastic types 1, 2 and 5. These plastics are processed in New Zealand and we are confident that they are able to be recycled locally, responsibly and ethically. 

Plastics 3, 4 and 7 are shipped overseas and most global markets now refuse to accept our waste. We have no way of knowing where our waste ends up. We don’t know enough about working conditions for the people who do the work and merely shipping waste overseas adds to our carbon footprint.
Infrastructure Chair Councillor Brian McGurk says collecting types 3, 4 and 7 falls short of our responsibility to deal with waste we create and is inconsistent with the Council’s commitment to the climate. Nelson was the first city council in New Zealand to declare a climate emergency.

“We simply cannot pass responsibility for dealing with our waste by sending it to other countries.”

Group Manager Infrastructure Alec Louverdis says the council will take a two-pronged approach regarding the supply of non-recyclable plastics.

“This will be a big part of the work we’re going to do before the change on July 1st. First, we will be writing to central government asking them to take a lead in how items are packaged and second, writing to the big supermarkets to ask for a change in the plastic packaging they use and accept from suppliers. We’re talking about the plastic that your meat comes wrapped in or the plastic packaging on the fruit you buy.”
We’re encouraging people to seriously think about the packaging of the products they buy and consider avoiding these plastic types where possible.

Over the next six months we will be explaining what this will mean for you so we are all ready for change on 1 July 2020.