Rethinking plastics – Case studies
Explore our series of case studies demonstrating best practice, challenges and opportunities related to rethinking plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Can recycling contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of plastic?
Not all plastic fibres are captured by Statistics NZ import data. We estimated the weight of synthetic textiles imported into Aotearoa New Zealand as finished products.
With a kaupapa of creating a healthy, peaceful, more sustainable world, Toimata Foundation supports inter-generational learning and action by running Te Aho Tū Roa and Enviroschools.
The Sustainable Business Network (SBN), in partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries, Foodstuffs NZ and New Zealand King Salmon, has run a three-part plastics packaging masterclass series to help empower brands to make informed decisions around their packaging choices.
Plastic pellets, or nurdles, are the raw material of the plastics manufacturing industry. They are commonly found in beach and river clean ups. The plastic manufacturing industry in Aotearoa New Zealand identified this as a key issue for their members to address.
A long-term solution to the decomposition of non-biodegradable plastic might be found by building on exciting new science aimed at engineering enzymes, or selecting microorganisms, that can digest traditionally non-biodegradable plastic in environmentally friendly conditions.
In Raglan, a whole community worked together to engage in significant behaviour change around one troublesome item of waste – single-use plastic carry bags.
New Zealand Post wants a more sustainable, environmentally friendly alternative to their existing plastic mailers.
Para Kore is a Māori organisation that provides mentoring and support for marae, kōhanga reo, kura, community organisations, iwi, tertiary, commercial sector, events and Māori communities to reduce their waste. The goal of becoming para kore (zero waste) is based on circular economy principles.
Ecostore is an exemplar of how a business can take transformative action to rethink how we use plastics.
In 2017, Flight Plastics established the first closed-loop mechanical recycling system in Aotearoa New Zealand for PET (#1).
The Dunedin City Council arranged an event to promote the reduction of single-use plastic in students’ lunch boxes as part of Plastic Free July 2019.
Within supply chains, there is both significant use of plastic and waste. Manufacturers, retailers and the logistics and supply chain industries are uniquely positioned to provide innovative solutions to reduce the waste and environmental impacts associated with moving products around the world.
It is estimated that New Zealanders go through 295 million single-use takeaway coffee cups each year. Purchasing coffee is certainly a habitual practice – and there is great opportunity to support individuals to make that practice more sustainable.
Farms and agricultural properties can generate a lot of waste and traditionally the approach to dealing with this waste has involved the 3Bs – burning, burying or bulk storing. To address problematic plastic waste issues on farms, two product stewardship schemes were developed in 2010.
Is a single-use plastic bag better or worse than alternatives such as a paper bag, a heavier reusable plastic bag or a cotton bag?
Container deposit schemes (CDS) exist in various places around the world in different forms. The highest reported rate of container recycling through such a scheme is 97%.
Zespri is the world's largest marketer of kiwifruit, and developer of the spife, a spoon-knife utensil made of plastic used to cut and scoop kiwifruit.
Plastic beverage containers are one of the most common single-use plastic packaged products. Two groups have estimated the production and recovery of beverage containers in Aotearoa New Zealand using different approaches.
The National Product Catalogue is a database containing hundreds of thousands of products traded across and within Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.
Numerous studies have identified tyre abrasion as the leading cause of microplastics emissions into the environment, far outweighing other sources such as manufacturing resin, washing of synthetic clothing, and fishing gear.
In March 2019, a storm hit the West Coast and washed out the closed Fox River landfill near Fox Glacier. The result was that huge amounts of pollution leaked into the surrounding pristine natural environment.
Recycling plastic is best. But when we can't recycle, should we send plastic to landfill, or burn it to create energy?
Food or packaging: which contributes more to the carbon footprint of a breakfast food item?