The news for longnecks gets even worse once you put them out for recycling. We recycle about 55% of our glass containers in New Zealand, some 200,000 tonnes a year. That’s more than double what can be processed in Auckland, at O-I New Zealand’s two smelters in Penrose. A third smelter is on the cards, but at a cost of $50 to $60 million it has already faced years of delays.
Our recommendations: drink less … or more, with a refillable swappa crate or two-litre plastic rigger (hey, it worked for jumpsuits). Brew your own. Go to the pub for a pint. Drink Kiwi beer from a can. When in Auckland, drink Kiwi beer from the bottle. If none of that appeals, at least make sure you drink local. Really local. There are microbreweries all over New Zealand; find the one nearest you and show them some low-beer-miles love.