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MANAGEMENT

The recycling crisis and the circle economy in 2019 In the first of a five-part series, Bridget Gardner* examines the recycling crisis and the circle economy. From plastics pollution to climate change, our global environmental problems have become too big for the corporate world to ignore. 2019 is shaping up as the year we got serious about sustainable business. As I started to research an article about the five hottest sustainability topics and their implications for the cleaning industry, I found far too much to talk about in one article. Therefore I have decided to write a five-part series focusing on the five most critical sustainability issues for 2019 instead. The following editions of INCLEAN NZ will explore: Plastics Pollution Problem; Climate Crisis and Carbon Emissions; Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals; and Social Sustainability and the Modern Slavery Act.

The China recycling crisis In March last year, the recycling world went into shock. Tired of receiving contaminated recyclable waste, China announced its National Sword policy that restricted the import of 32 different waste types, including most plastics, unless it met stringent contamination limits. While this ‘ban’ was a surprise to most of us who hadn’t realised our diligently separated waste was being exported back to China, it is disastrous for the waste management sector in Australia and New Zealand. According to Blue Environment, Australia was sending 30 per cent of all our recycled metal, paper and plastic to China, representing a whopping 1.27 million tonnes of waste in 2017. China bought nearly NZ$26million of New Zealand’s recyclable plastic, metal and paper in 2017, representing 50 per cent of all exported waste, according to Stats NZ. While this could lead to exciting opportunities for local waste reprocessing plants, the reality is that we have limited

28 INCLEANNZ February 2019

Profile for The Intermedia Group

INCLEAN - NZ February 2019  

Published for more than 30 years, INCLEAN has evolved into a communications portfolio that delivers need-to-know information to contracted a...

INCLEAN - NZ February 2019  

Published for more than 30 years, INCLEAN has evolved into a communications portfolio that delivers need-to-know information to contracted a...