What we recycle is changing



New Plymouth, Stratford & South Taranaki Districts

From Monday 31 August the plastic we can recycle is changing. Plastic containers with the number 1, 2 & 5 in the recycling triangle can go in your kerbside recycling bin. New Plymouth (NPDC), Stratford (SDC) & South Taranaki (STDC) Councils will no longer take plastics 3, 4, 6 & 7. Plastics 1, 2 & 5 make up 87% of our residential recyclable plastics in New Zealand. We are changing how we are doing things. For the better.

Remember if you use one of the regions transfer stations, the same change also applies – recycle plastic containers with a 1, 2 & 5 in the triangle.

Please continue to recycle clean glass, tin, aluminium, paper and cardboard as usual.


Why are we doing this?

Due to a changing global market Taranaki region will only accept for recycling plastic containers 1, 2 & 5. Essentially at the moment there is no market for the other plastics (3, 4 ,6, 7) and there is a high carbon cost freighting these abroad.

New Zealanders embraced the plastic bag ban in 2019. This started a public conversation about plastic waste, and a growing momentum among individuals and businesses motivated to do more. 


The power of numbers

High grade plastics 1, 2 & 5 are recycled into new products by companies in New Zealand.

Check the triangle when shopping – be a responsible consumer and choose packaging displaying the numbers 1, 2 & 5, as these are easily recycled in New Zealand. If in doubt, leave it out of your shopping or find an alternative.

In New Zealand 70% of all single-use plastic containers used are type 1 and 2, and 15% are type 5. This is 85% of recycled plastics in total. The remaining other types of plastics make up 15%. 

Of the 67 councils in New Zealand, about 55% do not accept plastic types 3, 4, 6, or 7. About 70% of councils accept type 5 plastics, and all councils accept type 1 & 2 plastics.

In Taranaki, plastic types 1 & 2 make up 11% of the total recycling stream (paper, cardboard, plastics, tin and aluminium) at the MRF (Materials Recovery Facility) and mixed plastics (types 3-7) make up 3%.


What do I need to know?

What types of containers will be recycled by NPDC, SDC and STDC with a shift to collecting only types 1, 2 & 5 plastics?

Common examples of plastic containers 1, 2 & 5 are:

  • Plastics 1 - soft drink/water/fruit juice bottles, cooking oil bottles, fruit containers/punnets, sandwich packaging.
  • Plastics 2 - milk bottles, cleaning product and shampoo bottles.
  • Plastics 5 – large yoghurt containers, margarine/butter tubs, takeaway containers, ice cream containers.


For further information for your district click on the relevant council's logo at the bottom of the page.






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