24 Apr 2018

China’s Ban Causes Growing Build-Up of Plastic Waste in New Zealand

Disposable plastic bags

Plastic recycling in New Zealand will be more necessary than ever after China decided to limit imports of recyclable materials from the country.

Millions of tonnes of plastic have continued to pile up at landfills. Based on Customs figures, the value of exported recyclable plastics to China fell to more than $100,000 from $1.7 million in the first quarter of 2017.

Contingency Plan

Several companies have already chosen to send recyclable plastics to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Exports reached 7.2 million kilograms of plastic waste during the first quarter of this year. This trend may continue amidst China’s current ban. In the past, New Zealand shipped 15 million tonnes of waste to China every year.

Businesses and households in the country should do their part by being mindful of their use of plastic containers. Those with old appliances or unusable white ware should send these items to scrap metal dealers in Auckland or Wellington. You may even exchange these materials for money. Aside from recycling, Kiwis should also rethink their sustainable habits and see if they are causing more harm than good.

Environmental Awareness

Some experts believe that a proactive approach should be a better solution for being sustainable. For instance, composting may be better than throwing food waste into landfills, but it would be best if households avoid buying more food than necessary in the first place.

Those who drive to farmers’ markets to buy locally produced and grown crops should also consider the amount of fuel they spend each time. It may be better to walk to the nearest supermarket instead of contributing to traffic and air pollution.

While businesses do their part to recycle plastic waste, households should likewise be responsible for their own production of rubbish. How do you help in reducing the amount of waste in the environment?

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