A plastics recycling factory is getting $500,000 from the Government to expand the range of plastics it can recycle in a bid to reduce the country's waste.

Astron, one of Australasia's biggest plastics recyclers, will use the money from the Government's Waste Minimisation Fund for new technology that will increase the range of hard-to-recycle plastics it can process.

"Improving our onshore ability to recycle plastics into new, useful products is important, particularly given the pressures on the recycling export sector with reduced markets and lower prices for exporting recycling materials," said Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage, who announced the grant today.

Astron converts plastic into new products including plastic resin, slip sheets and underground cable covers. Expanded capability at its Auckland plant means agricultural plastics such as silage wrap and milk powder bags can be recycled.


A recent briefing from the Department of Conservation to the environment select committee said New Zealanders generated some of the highest per capita plastic waste in the world: an average of 3.7kg each a day.

Recently the Warehouse Group announced it was halting the use of single-use plastic bags at checkout and would move to compostable bags.

Some Countdown stores and Mitre 10 have also said they will withdraw single-use bags from checkout.

The Waste Minimisation Fund was established in 2009 and is funded by a levy of $10 per tonne charged on waste disposed of at landfills.