A good question. On the Choice channel last night a British program was screened, ‘Dirty Business’ in which the depressing figure of only 2% worldwide was stated — that’s out of 78 million tonnes of plastic packaging produced annually.
About 14% is collected for recycling but that doesn’t happen with most of it. About 14% gets burnt after use, 40% goes into landfills and 34% is discarded to pollute the environment, mostly in Third World countries.
The episode is viewable here on Choice On Demand (registration required.)
About half of plastic waste in NZ was being sent to China until the end of last year, when China said it didn’t want any more of it. That was the case also with plastic waste from other countries. Article on the NZ Herald website.
What happens to the plastic that gets put into recycling bins in Kapiti? We don’t know, and suspect the KCDC doesn’t either. A NZ webpage on recycling is here.