Both Napier and Hastings' councils have adopted similar policies of only recycling grades 1 & 2 plastics. So how hard is it to do a waste-free shop at the supermarket in Hawke's Bay now? Georgia May reports.
Since China and Malaysia stopped accepting New Zealand's plastic recycling, Hawke's Bay councils have had to reconsider the way they manage recycling.
It's necessary, but it's a bit of a headache for consumers.
From gleaming packets of biscuits to yoghurts, hummus, pesto, cheese and even petfood - the eye-catching products do their job as the glossy aesthetics get them plucked from the shelves, but most of the packaging cannot be recycled.
Just so everyone is aware: Hastings District Council is now only accepting plastic bottles that are grade 1 and 2 (you'll generally find the grade number on the bottom of the bottle generally), but all other grade 1 and 2 (cartons etc) along with categories 3 to 7 are tossed into rubbish bins and into landfill.
Waste and data services manager Martin Jarvis says for ratepayers to fund facilities that would process all the different plastics (or, in fact any) would be very expensive - and our small population doesn't produce enough waste to run them sustainably.
"Council stresses that purchasers have the ability to change things (as with the single-use plastic bags). Choosing to buy products in plastics that are recyclable, when possible, will encourage manufacturers to use those recyclable plastics, rather than have their items stay on the shop shelves."
The Napier City Council has also announced it will be taking a similar approach from Monday onwards, but is accepting all grades of 1 and 2 plastics, not just the plastic bottles.
"Unfortunately this is going to increase the volume of waste going to the Omarunui landfill. We hope a nationwide solution will be found soon, but in the meantime we can only collect what can be recycled," said Jon Kingsford, director infrastructure services at Napier City Council.
"We encourage consumers to reduce the amount of non-recyclable materials by purchasing items without packaging, or with recyclable packaging."
Recycled 1 and 2 items include milk, soft drink, water, and some laundry, kitchen and bathroom bottles.
I did a general shop at Hastings New World to see how easy a plastic waste free shop would be.
It's trickier than you might think.
When it comes to products like fruit juice, milk, most shampoos and body wash - most of them are grade 1 and 2 - so hallelujah.
Many laundry products also come in cardboard form, but some powders rest inside plastic packaging when opened which will have to be tossed in landfill now.
On the personal hygiene stakes: Plastic toothbrushes are out and bamboo is in.
"Grin" toothbrushes have hit the shelves, with the "charcoal-infused bamboo toothbrush handle 100% biodegradable".
It's bad news for biscuit lovers: Not one product on the shelves was packaged in paper or cardboard - so none were purchased.
Chocolate wasn't as disappointing. Many Whittaker's products are either wrapped in paper or cardboard, but some of the bigger blocks contain non-recyclable foil packaging. Their "Artisan Collection" proves to be slightly better, as the cardboard can be recycled.
Most Cadbury products are wrapped in their new "resealable" plastic packaging, but their "Cocoa" range is packaged in cardboard.
Other low-waste chocolate options include organic brand Green & Blacks and Lindt.
But what of snack foods and spreads? Products like pesto and hummus were all in recycling category 5, meaning if purchased, they will go straight to landfill.
Products like yoghurt were also in a similar category. Some brands such as Biofarm organic yoghurt can be purchased in a category 1 plastic bottle, or products like Raglan Coconut Yoghurt or Cathedral Cove - but they're costly with prices ranging from $10 to $12.
Bread is another problem when it comes to reducing waste as all products are wrapped in plastic.
An alternative to that is buying it direct from the bakery and putting it in your own bag or a paper bag provided by the supermarket.
While some of the biodegradable products are slightly more costly, it means less waste in local landfills.
But plastic-free shopping isn't easy, as many products which have recyclable packaging are still wrapped or sealed in plastic such as teas, crackers or cereals.
A Foodstuffs spokesperson said that aside from the areas where they have direct control over packaging (private label and in-store packaging), they're also working with the Sustainable Business Network through their Circular Economy programme and WasteMINZ to find and implement the best solutions.
The spokesperson said they were also having "promising conversations" with suppliers in terms of "reformatting their packaging".
"We're all working together to help them transition towards more sustainable packaging that can either be reused, recycled or composted."
Foodstuffs has also introduced a new BYO policy which will see customers able to use their own clean, leak-proof containers over the counter at their instore butchery, seafood, delicatessen and bakery. The policy kicks off in Hawke's Bay supermarkets from June 1, 2019.
My recyclable and biodegradable shop
The Real McCoy Orange Juice (2L)
Whittaker's Marlborough Sea Salt and Caramel Brittle
Pams Wholegrain Brown Rice Crackers
Nescafe Original 180g (glass jar)
Rose's Blackberry Conserve 500g (glass jar)
BioFarm bush honey organic yoghurt 1L
Patak's Tikka Masala 450g (glass jar)
Bakery Bread (New World bakery)
Sanitarium Cluster Crisp 475g
San Remo Gluten Free Penne 350g
My non-recyclable shop
Fantastic barbecue chicken flavoured rice crackers 100g
Cadbury Dairy Milk Crunchie 180g
Hubbards Simply Natural Muesli 525g
Anathoth Farm Raspberry Jam 455g
Nescafe Classic Espresso 100g
The Real McCoy Dark Grape (Tetra Pak) 1L
Asian Home Gourmet 150g
Diamond Penne 500g
Tip Top Bakery Goodness Grains bread 700g