WELLINGTON, May 25 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand government is funding companies to reduce the amount of waste for landfill or shipped overseas, an official said on Friday.
According to Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage, Plastic recycling company Astron is getting 500,000 NZ dollars (346,750 U.S. dollars) under the government's Waste Minimization Fund to expand its plastic recycling facility in the country.
"Improving our onshore ability to recycle plastics into new, useful products is really important, particularly given the pressures on the recycling export sector with reduced markets and lower prices for exporting recycling materials," Sage said.
Astron is one of Australasia's largest recyclers of used plastics. Every year it converts millions of kilograms of plastic into new products, including plastic resin, slip sheets and underground cable covers.
Astron will use the funding at its Auckland plant, including to install a pre-shredder and extruder, to filter out contamination from organics and other waste. This technology will add to one of the plant's existing recycling lines, allowing it to run at optimum levels and increase the range of hard-to-recycle plastics, numbered 2 and 4, that can be processed, Sage said.
The expanded capability will mean agricultural plastics, such as silage wrap and milk powder bags, will be able to be recycled, she added.
The Waste Minimization Fund, established in 2009, is funded by a levy of 10 NZ dollars per ton charged on waste disposed of at landfills.
"We want to accelerate New Zealand's transition to a circular economy, where we can unmake everything we make, and reuse, recycle or compost each individual part of a product so that waste is essentially designed out of the system," Sage said. (1 NZ dollar equals to 0.69 U.S. dollar)