Funding to get glass recycling back on track


The Glass Packaging Forum (GPF) is appealing to councils and recyclers around New Zealand to apply for grants in its upcoming funding round if they need help reviving glass recycling following the lockdown.

GPF Scheme Manager Dominic Salmon says the varied ways in which councils responded to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 resulted in glass being stockpiled or lost to landfill. “Now the country is set to move to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, and hopefully lower Alert Levels in the coming weeks, we want to work with councils and recyclers to get their collections back online,” he says.

A primary function of the GPF is to fund projects which improve glass recycling in New Zealand. Three funding application rounds are held each year, with the next due to run from 1 – 31 May. The funding comes from voluntary levies paid by the GPF’s members, based on the amount of glass bottles and jars they sell in New Zealand, Dominic says.

“The lockdown has exacerbated gaps in the system so now is the time address them, and to innovate and build resilience against crises like COVID-19 and natural disasters. The focus as we move to lower Alert Levels will be on a domestic economy, so we need to develop an even more efficient domestic recycling system.”

Glass is recycled in New Zealand, at the country’s only glass container manufacturer O-I NZ in Auckland.

“There have already been some great examples of councils innovating to keep glass recycling going during lockdown.” Dominic points to Matamata-Piako District Council which, with the help of GPF funding, reacted quickly to put pop-up glass recycling in place for residents.

“The council listened to residents, worked with its contractor and got funding from the GPF to help make it happen.”

Dominic encourages any council, recycler or community group which has a project that will improve glass recycling, but needs funding to make it happen, to get in contact.

The GPF has to date funded over $3.4 million for infrastructure, machinery, public place recycling, and research which results in less glass going to landfill.

For more information, and to see previously funded projects, visit the grants and funding page on the GPF website.