Why can’t city Te­tra Paks be re­cy­cled?


First of all, what are Te­tra Paks? And why does the Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil not re­cy­cle them, de­spite other coun­cils across New Zealand do­ing so?

I am a Massey Univer­sity stu­dent in­ves­ti­gat­ing the fate of Te­tra Pak re­cy­cling in Palmer­ston North as part of an en­vi­ron­men­tal project.

Te­tra Paks are usu­ally juice boxes, milk and stock car­tons. Th­ese car­tons are made up of lay­ers of pa­per fi­bres, poly­mers and alu­minium.

All of th­ese ma­te­ri­als are re­cy­clable, which re­duces the amount of land­fill and de­creases the de­mand for re­sources.

Te­tra Pak man­u­fac­tur­ers are util­is­ing as many re­new­able ma­te­ri­als as pos­si­ble to cre­ate sus­tain­able con­tain­ers, so th­ese car­tons rep­re­sent an en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly way of food pack­ag­ing.

Nev­er­the­less, it is not pos­si­ble to re­cy­cle Te­tra Paks in Palmer­ston North.

Even if Te­tra Paks end up in the re­cy­cling bins, they will make their way to the land­fill.

Not only is this harm­ful to the en­vi­ron­ment, it can also be costly to res­i­dents who have no choice but to dis­pose Te­tra Paks in the coun­cil rub­bish bags.

In many coun­tries, Te­tra Pak re­cy­cling has been part of waste man­age­ment for decades. How­ever, only 33 per cent of New Zealan­ders are able to re­cy­cle their car­tons in the kerb­side re­cy­cling bins.

Only a few coun­cils in New Zealand pro­vide the op­por­tu­nity for Te­tra Pak re­cy­cling, among them Auck­land, Gis­borne, Welling­ton and Porirua, as well as some ar­eas of Can­ter­bury and South­land.

As there are no Te­tra Pak re­cy­cling plants in New Zealand col­lab­o­ra­tion with other coun­cils is needed.

So, let’s show the Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil that we care about the fate of our Te­tra Paks. Come to the Food Value Dis­cus­sion at the En­vi­rovFest on Oc­to­ber 5 at 6pm at Te Manawa Mu­seum, where I will have a dis­play and will be col­lect­ing votes.

There is also a poll at https://apps.face­book.com/my-polls/polls?cfixed=1


Adele Bittner, a stu­dent at Massey Univer­sity, laments the lack of te­tra pak re­cy­cling in Palmer­ston North.

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