Recycling is Still Boring®

Why we chose plastic.

If, like us, you sift through recycling bins like it's the morning paper, you’ll already be across this month’s newsworthy recycling update. If you missed it, gird your loins for an update that affects every bottle of plant-based milk around the motu – Boring® or not.

Kerbside Recyclable New Zealand Wide

In a quest to standardise kerbside recycling around Aotearoa, the nationwide rules of recycling have changed. From this month onwards, only plastic codes 1, 2 and 5 will be accepted. Alongside that, Tetra Pak is out. Kaput. Gone. See you later. Catch you on the flip side.

We spend a lot of time thinking about plastic, and what it means to do the right thing. For all its faults, PET (plastic code 1) is kerbside recyclable in Aotearoa. That works for everyday New Zealanders, recycling their everyday products at home. We see that as a win, though it's certainly not the finish line.

The problem with Tetra Pak is the bonded layers of cardboard, aluminum and plastic make it extremely complex to recycle. That's why it's no longer accepted as kerbside recycling anywhere in Aotearoa.

Not to mention it's unable to be recycled back into beverage cartons and can only be ‘downcycled’ into products such as roofing tiles and low-grade construction materials, of which there is currently little demand for. The infrastructure to process Tetra Pak isn’t widely available in New Zealand with the majority of spent cartons still sent to landfill or overseas to be downcycled.

80% of Tetra Pak cartons globally don't make it into the recycling stream, ending up in landfills or incinerated instead.*

We're quietly chuffed to say Boring® is as easy to recycle now as it was on day one. Even easier, if you count the new little zip on each bottle's sleeve we've reintroduced.

Plus, anything beats hanging around the rubbish bin during summer. Sorry Oscar.

*Source: Tetra Pak Sustainability Report FY22.