Further info

Environmental recycling options

Biodegradable / compostable products

These product may sound like a good solution but are actually not always a good alternative.

  • Bio/Degradable bags are made of small pieces of plastic fused with corn starch. It will simply break down into smaller pieces of plastic; easier to be ingested by animals and further down the food chain by ourselves.
  • Biodegradable plastics are not regulated
  • Majority of compostable bags do NOT compost in your compost heap at home. They need to be composted in an industrial facility (over 70 degrees Celsius)
  • Experience tells us that most compostable and biodegradable and compostable plastics end up:
    • in landfill’s anaerobic environment creating methane gasses or not breaking down
    • among recyclable plastics and therefore compromising the recyclability of the plastics. If it looks/feels like a plastic bag it will be used and recycled like one.
    • in waterways / nature

NZ does not have the infrastructure to deal with bio or compostable plastics

See https://www.recycling.kiwi.nz/solutions/soft-plastics for more info

See attached material reference guide

Material Recycling
Plastic Recycling

The Compromise

  • Go for alternative packaging that doesn’t try to look like existing plastic or paper.
  • Have a second use for packaging after it has served its first purpose
  • All the above is generalised and there are much more details to consider – Talk to us!

Other useful links

https://www.packagingoftheworld.com/2009/04/hangerpak.html
http://zerowaste.co.nz/
http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/methane-vs-carbon-dioxide-a-greenhouse-gas-showdown/
https://blog.lumi.com/second-life-packaging