Recycling for Christmas

Have you considered recyling for Christmas?

We all have good intentions when we recycle and it’s a better option than the rubbish bin. But remember that recycling usually involves a lot of extra resources and often not everything is fully recycled in the end. By following the ‘refuse, reduce, reuse’ tips that we introduced in earlier blog posts, we can avoid creating the waste in the first place. It’s all about keeping it simple and valuing the things we buy.

Here are some local recycling facts:

  • Wellington hasn’t recycled plastic bags since 2011. The city council encourages everyone to bring reusable shopping bags with them and to not put any into their recycle bins.
  • No one processes PET (plastic grade 1) in New Zealand, so it goes mostly to China to be made into carpets and polar fleece jerseys. These include all your standard plastic drink bottles.
  • HDPE (plastic grade 2) is sold locally to plastic plants in Palmerston North and Auckland. These include plastic milk, shampoo, soap, and bleach containers.
  • Plastic grades 3 – 7 are either discarded to landfills, or go to China where they are processed into new products.
  • Cans and tins: aluminium cans go to Macaulay Metals (Lower Hutt), who send them to China to be reprocessed. Steel tins go to Pacific Steel (Auckland) who make them into reinforcing rods for concrete.
  • Recycled paper and cardboard go to one of Carter Holt Harvey’s mills in Auckland. Paper is re-pulped to make 100% recycled corrugated cardboard for use as packaging. Cardboard is re-pulped to make 30% recycled board for cardboard boxes.

We all love the holidays. A time to slow down and enjoy some yummy food and time with our loved ones. (At least that’s what we’d like it to be.) But with the holidays also comes a lot of pressure to buy, buy, and buy some more. By following a few simple tips, we can eliminate the pressure, over-spending and absurd amount of waste that come with it.


Reducing and recyling for Christmas 

Here are some of our top tips for reducing and recycling during the Christmas and holiday season.

  • Wrap gifts in recyclable or re-usable materials. Brown paper bags, newspaper, kids art work, silky scarves or gift bags that can be re-used over and over again. Avoid glossy or metallic gift wrap which can’t be recycled.
  • Try and use string or ribbon instead of sticky tapes to seal your wrapping. Tape can make it harder to recycle wrapping paper.
  • If your gift list is long, consider doing a Secret Santa or Kris Kringle gift exchange instead. Most adults would love to minimise some of the pressure that comes along with the holidays and gift giving.
  • Consider not doing gifts for the adults in your family. Use that money to help a local family in need.
  • Gift an ‘experience’ rather than a ‘thing’. A lot of us don’t really need anything and would be much happier with a gift voucher (day spa!) or tickets to a game or show.
  • If you’re buying lights, consider LEDs. Not only will they last longer, but you’ll save heaps on your power bill! 

The Plastic Free Peninsula Team!