Maybe you're prepping for a holiday hangover. Not the kind where you've guzzled three too many wines and feel sub-human the next day, but the kind involving sobriety and stuff. The packaging hangover.
It happens each year in our house when we spend too much money on junk that'll break or be forgotten in months ... or a week.
Christmas Day, after we've shredded wrapping paper festooned with Santa, sleigh bells and wreaths, I scan the lounge, sigh, and start stuffing paper, cardboard and plastic into a large box.
I'll chuck some items in the recycle bin, feeling virtuous and sheepish as I wonder how much of the packaging in the yellow-lidded bin will eventually get recycled.
According to global data, about one-third of plastics crammed into those containers gets recycled. Most of the rest is incinerated, dumped in landfills, or washes into the ocean.
Recycle.co.nz states we have significant waste problems in New Zealand, discarding 15.5 million tonnes each year. That's 3200 kilograms for each of us. We recycle just 28 per cent of this waste.
Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell says: "Tauranga has one of the worst rates per capita in New Zealand for sending household waste to landfill."
For decades, we've seen promotional campaigns and been subject to sermons and warnings about how we, as consumers, need to recycle or we'll kill all the apes and sealife with mouldable detritus.
Waste experts say paper and plastic buying masses don't recycle anything. Instead, we harvest materials in hopes someone with know-how, equipment and connections will give our used plastic, cardboard and glass a second life.
Consumers are a compact crab on the backside of the manufacturing process, buying food, clothing and useless doo-hickeys often packed in reams of plastic, cardboard, styrofoam, and more plastic.
Look at any toy, electronic good, homeware and even food - what they share is slavish devotion to excessive packaging.
Manufacturers must turn off the plastic tap.
The New Zealand Plastic Packaging Declaration, issued by the Ministry for the Environment says a number of global brands, retailers, and packaging companies have committed to using 100 per cent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging across their global operations by 2025 or earlier.
"Amcor, Danone, L'Oréal, Mars, Nestlé, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever are among those companies and have reaffirmed this commitment in New Zealand," says MFE.
And the millions of other companies spewing plastic across the planet? They, and we, have much work to do.
Tauranga City Council is proposing to add a new kerbside food scraps, recycling and rubbish collection to existing kerbside collections, which only collect glass recycling. Council's website says Tauranga is the only major centre in New Zealand that doesn't provide a rates-funded kerbside collection for all households.
"Other cities with a similar collection have seen a significant reduction in household rubbish in landfill, benefiting their environment, the community and future generations," according to the council.
Residents would have the choice of different sized and cost wheelie bins for waste collections.
While the service could be fully funded by rates, the council is also asking the community if they'd prefer a "pay-as-you-throw" rubbish collection which would involve buying tags from the supermarket.
Some community members say it's fine to explore methods which could harvest more recyclables, but we must address a major problem involving plastics, namely, even many numbers one and two plastics (which sit at the top of the plastic recycling food chain), cannot be recycled.
Enter loop recycling.
The Papamoa Residents and Ratepayers Association (PRRA) this month posted on its website a plea for council and ratepayers to consider what they say is a better form of recycling, which sends waste back to the supplier.
In this model, consumers return cans and plastics from whence they came, like the supermarket.
"After all, we only use the product and do not want the container. Why dump the disposal of the container on to the ratepayer and make him pay for this," says PRRA.
"Suppliers are better placed to influence the type of recyclable containers that can be used and if they are receiving back the waste they will very quickly create the scenario of true container recycling. This is a Loop Recycling System and is no cost to the ratepayer."
The idea of encouraging suppliers to accept less-packaged goods and seek easily-recyclable materials is not only enticing, but it also makes environmental sense, too.
Fewer non-recyclables in the supply chain means less rubbish getting bundled and shipped overseas to burn or landfill.
Why should we have to pay for items wrapped in materials we can't reuse? Again, it comes back to shifting responsibility from the end-user to manufacturers and suppliers.
The council recently ran a "Talking Trash" survey, whose results are scheduled for publication late next month.
Anything but a random sample of residents produces unscientific results, so assume squeaky wheels, people who claim to generate hardly any rubbish and environmental activists will be over-represented in responses.
Kerbside recycling in Tauranga is estimated to cost ratepayers $250-$400 per year. While I'm willing to pay up to $1.10 per day for this service, I want a system that addresses our packaging problem closer to the source.