According to the Christchurch City Council, 42 percent of recycling bins are going to landfill.
The council has changed regulations on what goes into the yellow recycling bin in a move to get the city's recycling sold overseas.
The change comes as part of their initiative, 'Have We Bin Good?'; an attempt to improve the quality of Christchurch's recycling to make it more attractive to overseas buyers.
New environmental policy in China means it has banned the import of 24 different recyclable materials. Quality standards for accepted materials have increased significantly.
Soft plastics used to be a part of the items you could recycle, however they have become a major problem in Christchurch's wheelie bins as they get caught in the sorting machines causing break downs.
Many people still mistake soft plastics for recycling; they include shopping bags, plastic film, bread packaging, pasta packaging, rice bags, frozen food bags, courier bags and more.
The city council makes it clear on its website. If you can scrunch the plastic in your hand, then it belongs in the red wheelie bin.
To be sure of what Christchurch residents are placing into their recycling bins, there is a sticker that can be placed on the lid of the bin showing what can, and can't, go into them. However, these stickers can only be collected from the nearest library or service center.
Facebook comments on a recent Christchurch City Council post showed that many were frustrated the stickers were not delivered to peoples homes. Some said that they should have been sent out at the same time as the pamphlets, as they both discuss the change in the contents of Christchurch's wheelie bins.
A spokesperson from the Christchurch City Council said the stickers were expensive to print, so the decision was made that they would be available upon request by residents.
Stickers are available for free at council service centers and libraries.
There is also an option to download the Wheelie Bin app onto your device which gives you all the information you need about what rubbish goes into what bin.
Member of the Papanui-Innes community board, Ali Jones, said recycling was important but many people would have missed the update to the bins as they threw away pamphlets in their letterbox before actually reading them.
Jones said putting recycling in the right bin was "only one tool in the tool kit" to being a 100 percent recyclable country.
"We have to work really hard to get people who are producing soft plastic packaging to stop or reduce it," she said.
The Packaging Forum is doing just that, with a vision that all packaging in New Zealand will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.
One partner of The Packaging Forum is the Love NZ Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme, which is dedicated to recycling soft plastics in New Zealand.
The scheme is not currently available in the South Island as there are no processors in the area. However, the company is taking a 'phased approach' to the expansion of the program across New Zealand in order to monitor the volumes being collected.
Spokesperson from Love NZ Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme, Lyn Mayes, said, "There are currently only two processing plants – in Waiuku (South Auckland/Waikato border) and in Levin. There is no current processing capacity for post consumer soft plastic packaging in the South Island. Logistically, it therefore makes sense for us to expand geographically across the North Island first."