Many plastic items are so cheap to produce that we are very quick to dispose of them. In New Zealand and other countries, work is under way to limit single-use items like shopping bags, straws and excess packaging.
Other items – like PET bottles and containers – are readily recyclable. In the past, all of our recycling was crushed, baled and sent overseas for processing. However, New Zealand industries are closing the recycling loop by opening washing and recycling plants.
The following resources explore waste issues and recycling.
- Plastics and recycling
- Flight Plastics recycling technology
- Material World – Recycling and biodegradability – resource curation
- Rethinking plastic
- Building Science Concepts: Rubbish (article) and Rubbish: how do we deal with it? (interactive)
- Seagull Centre – reducing, reusing and recycling
- Plastic – reuse, recycle or rubbish game
- What happens to our plastic bottles?
- DIY plastic recycling plant
- Waste – a growing challenge!
- Determining the properties of plastic and glass
- Flight Plastics recycling plant in action
- Auckland recycling – learning opportunity 1
- Sorting technology – learning opportunity 2
- What can we recycle? – learning opportunity 2
Image: The University of Waikato Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato