A national audit was carried out on the plastic containers in New Zealanders’ rubbish and recycling bins in 2019. 867 households in 8 locations had their rubbish and recycling analysed with the results extrapolated to provide national figures. The findings were released in a report: “The Truth about Plastic Recycling in Aotearoa New Zealand 2020”

Initiated by WasteMINZ’s Territorial Authorities’ Officers Forum and supported with funding from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund,   the report found:

  • Kiwi households dispose of  a staggering 1.76 billion plastic containers per year through kerbside rubbish and recycling bins.
  • The most common item being disposed of to either recycling or rubbish bins is the single-use drink bottle – 188 per household per year.
  • An estimated 97 million plastic drink and milk bottles that could potentially be recycled go straight to landfill.
  • 39 per cent  be weight of household plastic bottles and containers that have the potential to be recycled go to landfill.