(L to R) The Packaging Forum CEO Rob Langford, Heinz Wattie’s non-executive chairman Mike Pretty, Mayor of Napier Kirsten Wise, Mayor of Hastings Sandra Hazlehurst, Future Post founder Jerome Wenzlick and The Warehouse Sustainability Manager Yi You at The Warehouse in Hastings. Photo credit: Alphapix

Hawke’s Bay residents will be able to recycle their soft plastic packaging for the first time at participating stores in Hastings, Napier and Waipukurau.

Mayor of Hastings Sandra Hazlehurst and Mayor of Napier Kirsten Wise welcomed members of The Packaging Forum’s Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme to the region to launch the new collection service. The event was held at The Warehouse in Hastings this month, where shoppers were invited to join the celebration and be the first to recycle their soft plastic bags and wrappers.

The distinctive recycling bins are at The Warehouse stores in Hastings and Napier South, Countdown stores in Hastings, Napier (Munroe Street); Napier South (Carlyle) and Waipukurau as well as at PAK’nSAVE Tamatea, and New World Havelock North and Waipukurau. More locations will join the programme over the coming weeks. 

The Packaging Forum CEO Rob Langford says they are delighted to bring soft plastic recycling to the Hawke’s Bay. “Over 70% New Zealanders now have access to our recycling service, and we have 160 drop off points around the country. The scheme covers the entire process from collection through to processing and is 100% funded by industry.

“Our members are committed to reducing the amount of plastic by designing out plastic where feasible and promoting the scheme on pack to increase recycling,” Rob says.

David Benattar, Chief Sustainability Officer, The Warehouse Group says The Warehouse is excited to further expand the Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme across its national store network.

“We now have 29 stores which are part of the programme. Since first launching in our stores in October 2015, close to 15.5 million individual units of soft plastic, equating to nearly 70 tonnes, have been collected and diverted from landfill.

“As a business we are prioritising the delivery of more solutions that will make recycling plastic and hard-to-recycle waste possible for consumers, whose desire to live more sustainably continues to build,” he says.

The soft plastic collected in the region will be recycled at Future Post’s plant in Waiuku, South Auckland.

Jerome Wenzlick, Founder of Future Post says that the partnership with the Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme benefits everyone.

“Every Future Post contains 1500 bags and wrappers. So, every time Hawke’s Bay shoppers fill one of the soft plastic collection bins, that’s another post off our production line.

“As we have grown, the scheme has expanded, and it’s great to be able to recycle soft plastics from here and turn them into posts for the region’s vineyards,” he says.

The Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme has over 125 members representing around 78% of post-consumer soft plastic materials consumed annually. The scheme pays for the costs of collection through to processing.

Mayor of Hastings Sandra Hazlehurst welcomed the initiative. “It’s great to see Hastings and wider the Hawke’s Bay included in the Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme and I encourage all residents to use the collection bins at their nearest participating store.”

Mayor of Napier Kirsten Wise added that, “It’s fantastic for the citizens of Napier to have the opportunity to recycle their soft packaging locally and know that it will be destined for recycling into a useful product. Napier City Council supports this initiative and the opportunity it provides to our ratepayers and customers and are excited about the increased ability to recycle more types of plastic in the Hawkes Bay.”

About The Packaging Forum’s Soft Plastic Recycling scheme

The Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme is a voluntary product stewardship scheme operated by The Packaging Forum; a member-based organisation dedicated to packaging sustainability. Soft Plastics Recycling has been operating since 2015 and is 100% funded by its industry members to capture soft plastic packaging for recycling into new products. The Packaging Forum also operates the Glass Packaging Forum and technical advisory groups.

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