During the festive season, kiwis generate 30 percent more waste and our favourite holiday destinations rubbish consumption increases by 400 percent. It’s not just kiwis – 500,000 overseas visitors visit over summer, adding to our waste. At the same time, we spend $6 billion on Christmas related shopping and gifts, with a massive increase in packaging and food consumption. Drinks sales increase by 300 percent over normal levels and whilst recycling doubles, unfortunately there is also a huge increase in recyclable glass, cans and plastic that end up in landfills.
The good news is that wherever you are in New Zealand you can choose to recycle. All your glass, plastic drinks containers, cans and cartons can be recycled, and most councils will recycle take-away pizza boxes if you put them out in your kerbside collections. Soft plastic bags can be recycled at Countdown, New World, PAK’nSAVE, and The Warehouse – which means you can also recycle the soft plastic wrapping from your Christmas food and groceries as well as the plastic courier packs that deliver your online shopping.