Answered Dec 21
Other commentators have focused on the actions of households. The problem is the ultimate destination of the material.
On the surface, there appears to be plenty of recycling occurring. Cities have recycling bins available, and pick up the contents weekly.
But where does it go?
Into a big pile.
The reasons are economic.
The material must be transported to a recycling facility. Which may be hundreds of kilometres away. Or may be overseas, such as in China. The cost of transport may be higher than the market value of the material.
What do you do when the Chinese government restricts importation of the material?
Put it in a big pile, right here in New Zealand.
An alternative is sending it to Malaysia. Where they put it in a big pile, and openly burn it.