Changes confirmed for Hastings plastic recycling

Hastings Deputy Mayor Tania Kerr says people should try to buy recyclable plastics. Photo / File
Hastings Deputy Mayor Tania Kerr says people should try to buy recyclable plastics. Photo / File

Time to start washing and squashing your milk bottles – Hastings District Council has confirmed changes to its kerbside recycling.

From May 1, the only plastics that will be collected within the Hastings district are bottles stamped with the number 1 or 2, lids off, washed and squashed.

Those types of bottles include milk, soft drink, water, sauce and some laundry, kitchen and bathroom bottles.

The changes are due to international clampdowns.

China will no longer take plastics for recycling and the remaining markets are also closing their borders to almost all used plastics.

The majority of the remaining markets, in New Zealand and internationally, are for plastics stamped with the number 1 or 2.

Waste Futures Committee chairwoman Tania Kerr said the council needed the community’s help.

“We are disappointed to be in this position but given the ever-decreasing number of markets for used plastic, at this time we have no choice,” Kerr said.

“We want residents to be assured that we are continuing to look for ways to have our plastics recycled while also backing moves at a national level to reduce problem plastics, and encouraging people to try to buy products in plastics that can be recycled.”

Up until March this year, Hastings’ contractor had not had to send any of its collected plastics to the landfill or stockpile it.

“Hastings’ contractors have a good record of finding markets for our recycling but in order for that to continue there must be changes,” Kerr said.

“To do that, we cannot mix non-recyclable plastics with those that can be recycled.

“Mixing plastics will result in all of the recycling potentially having to go to the landfill which is the worst outcome, both environmentally and financially.”

Kerr said consumers could have an impact by shopping wisely, such as choosing recyclable clear and opaque bottles when shopping, and checking the recycling grade as well.

“Check the bottoms of your containers when you buy. If we all make these small changes, together we can make very big differences.”

The changes also affect drop-off recycling stations.