Packaging Forum Schemes Boost Recycling from Summer Festivals

Party Time for Packaging Recycling in New Zealand

Music festivals and summer events are notoriously messy affairs. However, according to data collected by New Zealand’s Packaging Forum, that may be changing with an increase in waste sent for recycling and a reduction in landfill.

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Recycling Landfill packaging New Zealand

Music festivals and summer events are notoriously messy affairs. However, according to data collected by New Zealand’s Packaging Forum, that may be changing with an increase in waste sent for recycling and a reduction in landfill.

The trade body explained that it operates two voluntary product stewardship schemes for glass and for public place recycling which provide funding to support waste minimisation at events.

As part of the funding arrangement event organisers provide detailed information about what has been collected for recycling compared to what is sent to landfill.

“Data collected so far from shows that we have diverted around 50 tonnes from landfill and achieved a 70% recycling rate overall,” explained Lyn Mayes, public place recycling scheme manager for the Packaging Forum.

“This is a marked improvement over last year when the recycling rate across the events which we funded was 65%. We hope to continue these excellent results at upcoming events,” she added.

According to Mayes there are some stand out performances:

  • 96% waste diversion at Sol 3 Mio Concert at Villa Maria and 85% at ACDC concert (Clean Events)
  • 91% waste diversion at Taupo Cycle Challenge (Greenshoot Pacific)
  • 88% waste diversion at Sounds Splash (Xtreme Zero Waste).

“We are also placing our new soft plastic recycling bins at the Splore festival next weekend so that festival goers can also recycle their chip packets, confectionery, ice cream wrap, bread bags and any other plastic packaging that can be scrunched in a ball. This means that there is very little packaging that can’t be recycled,” said Mayes.

According to George Seton, managing director of Clean Event, the secret of achieving high levels of recycling is good planning.

“Achieving high levels of recycling at events comes down to good planning prior to the event; you need to know and influence what types of wastes will be produced and have a thorough plan on how you are going to separate them,”  he said.

Dave Watson, director of GreenShoot Pacific (GSP),, emphasised the importance of collaboration in producing good waste results.

“The opportunity is for all stakeholders to contribute and become part of a good story where high recycling statistics reflect best practice,” commented Watson. “Putting practical solutions in place, such as manned waste stations, create pathways for good behaviour and give attendees a better experience while enhancing the brand image of the event and their sponsors.”

Festivals, concerts and sporting events around the New Zealand were said to be being supported by the Packaging Forum this summer include Taste Auckland; Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge; Summer Starter Christchurch; ACDC Concert at Western Springs; Sol 3 Mio at Villa Maria; Auckland Festival of Tennis; Sounds Splash at Raglan; Marlborough Christmas Parade; Auckland Christmas in the Park; Northern Bass; Fat Freddy’s Drop concert at Waipara Hills Winery and the NZ Football Masters Tournament in Dunedin.


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