Tetra Pak Recycling

Petition details

Tetra Pak claim that "the wood fibre in cartons [can be] easily and widely recycled", but all Wellington residents (except for those in Porirua) have to put cartons in landfill. This petition is to arrange for kerbside recycling to include these cartons.

Submitted by Katherine Sabin
Date declined 19 March 2020
Status Declined

Background information

According to Tetra Pak's website, only 52% of New Zealanders can recycle their cartons in kerbside recycling - Auckland is well covered, as are Gisborne, Franz Joseph & Fox Glacier, Kaikoura, Timaru, Waimate, Southland, Invercargill and Bluff. In Wellington, only Porirua residents can recycle their cartons in kerbside recycling bins - everyone else has to put cartons in landfill, despite there being an easy environmentally-friendly alternative.


Signatures: 1

What happened to this petition?

This petition was declined for the following reason:

Liquid paperboard is not recycled in Porirua, nor anywhere in the Wellington region.

Liquid paperboard is made up of a number of composite materials and these are difficult to separate. There is nowhere in NZ that recycles liquid paperboard and this would need to be sent off shore. Currently the global fibre market is in crisis, and within NZ we are struggling to recycle or ship offshore any mixed paper, so it is likely that liquid paper board is being pulled out of mixed paper as contamination even if it is being collected.

WasteMINZ, which is the waste industry body, did a piece of work in 2019 with the main recyclers in NZ, as well as workshopped with the majority of Councils. As at end of September last year, only 4 councils currently advertise that they collect liquid paperboard  for recycling and only 1 of those actually includes it in their mixed paper bales. Of the main recyclers that were involved in the work, none of them actually recycle liquid paperboard. Typically if it is collected in recycling, it will be treated as contamination and landfilled.

Liquid paperboard is best suited to being recycled at  designated drop off locations, such as in a container return scheme (this is currently being investigated by central government) rather than kerbside recycling.