Watch: A look inside Auckland Council's recycling facility - can we be doing more?

New technology is saving more of Auckland's plastic from going into landfills and enabling more of it to be recycled here in New Zealand.

But is recycling the answer, or should we be doing more? 

Auckland Council's VISY recycling facility has a new optical sorter which can detect and separate different types of plastic.

"So with this sorting we can have ones, twos and fives, collected, sorted and put to good use," said Parul Sood, general manager of Waste Solutions

It will enable 50 percent more of Auckland's plastics to be recycled.

What's more, they're increasing what's recycled in New Zealand.

"China's closed, Indonesia's closed, Malaysia's closed," Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said. "Sooner or later we have to recycle onshore. 

"Now we can do 35 percent of our plastics onshore."

The rest is currently recycled in Australia but the problem with recycling is, it needs a market. 

Types one, two and five can be recycled, but other plastics are going to landfill, so the pressure is on manufacturers to stop using them.

"We're obviously hopefully encouraging people to stop making the other plastics and working with the Government on that too, so the fewer types of plastic we have the more we can recycle," said councillor Richard Hills.

It comes as Greenpeace launches a new campaign calling on Coca-Cola to stop using plastic altogether and the Government to ban single-use plastic drink bottles.

"Every year we bring in 1 billion plastic soft drink bottles into New Zealand from overseas," Greenpeace spokesman Phil Vine said. 

"Forty percent - 400-million - end up in the environment." 

Both Greenpeace and Auckland Council say even better than recycling is to reduce the amount of packaging used in the first place.