Our Plastic Journey Continues

We continue to share our learnings about the recycling of plastic waste within New Zealand.

Here at Anathoth Farm, we first started publishing helpful information about the recycling of our #5 polypropylene (PP) pots in early 2019.  These past statements on Plastic Recycling are available for viewing here.

We continue our journey to improve our understanding of plastic waste and recycling in New Zealand.  We have recently learnt more and are sharing it with you so we can all be better informed and proactive in doing our bit to minimise plastic waste going to landfill each year.

We recently attended a workshop by WasteMINZ (Waste Management Institute of NZ) where the latest findings from a New Zealand household plastic recycling audit were shared.  We have collated the following summary to help our fans understand more about the recycling of #5 PP pots and their improved value to the plastics recycling system. 

Anathoth Farm uses #5 plastic pots

  • Anathoth Farm chooses to package our preserves in #5 polypropylene (PP) pots. We use #5 pots because they are one of the safest plastics to package food in. 
  • We do not add unnecessary preservatives to Anathoth Farm and therefore fill our pots at high temperatures (85 degrees and above). For this reason, we cannot use the most common #1 and #2 plastics.  #1 and #2 plastics are of the highest value in the plastics market because they can be recycled and made into plastic bottles several times over (RPET).

#5 Polypropylene plastic is valuable within New Zealand

  • Historically #5 PP plastics were treated as a lower value plastic and was bundled into bales with the least valuable plastics #3, #4, #6 and #7. This has now changed with #5 plastic increasing in demand and, therefore, valued both globally and within New Zealand – which means it’s now commercially viable to recycle it.
  • Currently 47 out of 67 New Zealand councils collect from kerbside and sort #5 PP pots. These councils separate #5 plastics to be sold offshore or broken down and processed by New Zealand plastic businesses into granules. These granules are used to make other low-grade plastic items such as buckets and planter pots. 
  • More waste management companies are actively investing in infrastructure to increase #5 recycling in New Zealand. This will boost our local circular economy for polypropylene. There is a higher demand for polypropylene than what the national kerbside recycling programme can currently supply. That’s why we should continue to support #5 plastic recycling in New Zealand to avoid manufacturers importing polypropylene granules.
  • If you are unsure whether your local council picks up #5 from kerbside, we encourage you to make contact with them and check before disposing of #5 plastic into landfill. 

*graphic source: WasteMINZ

Re-use and re-purpose is more valuable than Recycling (or disposing)!

  • Before you recycle (or dispose) of your Anathoth Farm pot, can it be re-purposed in your home? The handy twist top container is dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe.
  • We suggest you use your empty Anathoth Farm pots to:
    • Take your snacks to work or school; cereal and yoghurt, salads, soups, dinner leftovers, nuts and dried fruit, boiled eggs, rice crackers, popcorn, mini muffins, crisps etc. If it can be wrapped in plastic wrap, you can make a better choice and transport it in an empty Anathoth Farm pot. There’s no need to buy more plastic food storage containers!
    • Tidy your bits and bobs in your household:
      • Bathroom: cotton buds, hair ties, eye pencils, toothbrushes, shavers
      • Utility Room: buttons, drawing pins, magnets, spare coins, screws/nails
      • Kids’ Bedrooms: small Lego bits, pens and pencils, crayons, erasers.
    • To make a more presentable container, peel off the front and back jam label and cut a patterned paper circle and stick to the lid. This also makes a pretty gifting container for homemade treats such as bliss balls, biscuits, mixed nuts, scroggin or trail mix and sweets.

Best Practice Plastic Recycling

  • Check the plastic container for its recycle number. #1, #2 and #5 are the valuable plastics that can be placed in your kerbside recycling bin. Check your local Council’s recycling scheme here.
  • Clean the container from any food residue before you place it in the recycling bin – this makes a big difference in the recycling process!
  • Remove plastic wrap sleeves/labels (mostly applies to ready to drink shrink wrapped/sleeved beverage bottles). There is no need to remove the labels from most other containers.

*symbol table source: WasteMINZ

What more are Anathoth Farm doing?

  • Working with our suppliers to improve the visibility of the #5 stamp on our pots and lids.
  • Improving our labelling to see if we can fit more recycling information to guide customers.
  • Promoting more re-use and re-purposing ideas.
  • Seeking on-going advice and learnings from industry associations and other food manufacturers e.g. WasteMINZ.
  • Reducing plastic waste within our business.
  • Learning more about alternative packaging materials and options.
  • Sharing our learnings and ideas with you so we can all be better informed and do our bit!

For more resources and additional reading, we recommend:

We look forward to continuing the conversation with you and welcome your feedback at jammaker@anathoth.co.nz.