3 Tips that will make a difference when it comes to recycling!

It’s recycling week here in New Zealand and ultimately an awareness campaign on recycling better.

First launched back in 2013. The wonderful team at @Reclaim saw an opportunity to educate New Zealanders by encouraging awareness, best practices and minimising waste across a week long campaign.

This event is a reminder of the importance of recycling and the positive impact it can have on our communities and waste infrastructures. In this market insight, we will share three tips that can make a significant difference during Recycling Week and beyond.

One – Educate Yourself About Recycling

The first step when it comes to better recycling really starts with education. New Zealand, like many other countries, has a recycling system in place, but it’s essential to know what can and cannot be recycled as not all recycling plants can take the same materials.

While this may seem straightforward, it can be confusing at times. Considering the different amounts of materials, products, and the different labelling on packaging can be overwhelming.

However, The Ministry for the Environment brings good news. According to a recent report, 92% of us are a lot more confident in placing the right items in the recycling bin, and that 65% of those surveyed also found it easy to recycle.

Behavioural Survey Insights

The even better news for New Zealander’s is the change to standardization of kerbside recycling come February 2024.

This will help eliminate confusion across various regions and areas. This is due to some recycling facilities may have different requirements on what is acceptable through their recycling facilities. Having one standardised approach will be great for creating consistency and awareness, and ultimately providing clarity and education across the suppliers, brands, consumers and recyclers.

Kerbside Standardization

Two- Wash it out!

Okay, here is a practical tip and hopefully a simple one.

When our team recently visited Auckland’s largest recycling plant, we learnt that washing out and cleaning out your packaging and items are key to ensuring they makes it through the recycling system.

Take a peanut butter jar for example, we may scrap the last little bit out with our knife and it may look clean as a result of doing that. However, the leftover residue actually creates a problem. The problem being that it can’t be recycled and is often considered a contaminate in the recycling system.

So make sure you wash out and clean your items before placing them in your recycling bin, it’ll make a world of difference!

Hi-Tech Packaging Team Visit to Visy

Three- Take time to read the label

Not all labels are made equal and not all communication on the packaging is correct.

So the best thing you can do to ensure you do your part is to carefully read the labels. This is, I guess, kind of an extension of point one about educating yourself.

When our team recently sat in on the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) sessions at the recent Foodtech PackTech show, we learnt that 64% of consumers want more information about what can and can’t be recycled.

The simpler the better right?

It’s why the likes of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organization (APCO), and Australian Recycling Label (ARL) seem like the obvious answer to help consumers ensure the right materials and packaging go into the right bins.



Recycling Week in New Zealand, specifically Reclaims Recycling Week, is an excellent occasion to remind ourselves of our responsibility to the environment. Educating ourselves about recycling, reducing waste at the source, and encouraging community participation, can make a tangible difference in preserving our environmental resources.

Let’s use this annual event as a stepping stone towards a more sustainable future. Remember, every small effort counts, and together, we can achieve significant positive change for New Zealand and the world.

Reclaim Recycling

For more tips head over to Reclaim’s website.

For more resources head to our Source Materials page!