Adam Hall, Store Manager and Ellen Henderson, Customer Services Manager give the thumbs up to soft plastics at Countdown Masterton.

Wairarapa residents can now recycle their soft plastic packaging for the first time at Countdown and The Warehouse in Masterton. 

Lyn Mayes, Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme Manager says: “We are delighted to finally bring soft plastic recycling to the Wairarapa. This has been made possible because our partner, community enterprise Earthlink which is based in Lower Hutt, has extended their collection route. Earthlink will collect the plastic from stores, bale the bags and organise transport to Auckland where the soft plastic will be turned into fence posts by Future Post.” 

“This expansion means that almost 80 percent of New Zealanders now have access to soft plastic recycling within 20km of where they live or work, with almost 200 drop off locations.”

Adam Hall, Countdown Masterton Store Manager says: “It’s really exciting to be able to offer a soft plastic collection for the first time in Masterton. Our customers have been asking for a long time, so to be able to provide this service and help them, and our store, be more sustainable is a big win. Countdown has supported the Soft Plastic Recycling since it began and we’re proud to be the 100th Countdown store involved. We’re looking forward to rolling these bins out in even more parts of the country in the future.”                                                    

David Benattar, Chief Sustainability Officer, The Warehouse Group says the expansion of the Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme in Masterton is another important step to making it easier and more accessible for Kiwis to recycle unwanted soft plastics. 

“We are excited to be providing this recycling service to our Masterton customers. Next time you visit The Warehouse, we’d love you to bring your soft plastic like bread bags or bubble wrap that we’ll help recycle and repurpose it into posts for vegetable gardens and fencing and avoid it going to landfill.”

“We’re pleased to be working together with our industry partners to provide easy ways for Kiwis to recycle soft plastics as it’s an important step towards creating a plastic-free Aotearoa. The Warehouse Masterton store joins 31 of our other stores nationwide participating in this programme, and through our network we’ve collected more than 8.8 million individual pieces of soft plastic in 2021,” says Benattar.

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 Plastic Recycling Scheme benefits everyone.

“Every Future Post contains 1,500 bags and wrappers. So, every time Masterton shoppers fill one of the soft plastic collection bins, that’s another post off our production line which can come back to one of the many vineyards around the wine producing region,” says Wenzlick. 

“The introduction of soft plastic recycling in Masterton is the latest example of our commitment to leverage partnerships to overcome challenges and deliver industry led solutions,” says The Packaging Forum CEO Rob Langford. 

“In the past, growth was limited by our onshore processing capacity. However, Future Post has increased its production capabilities and there is new capacity now with SaveBoard in Hamilton entering the market for post-consumer soft plastics. Accordingly, the focus in 2022 is identifying logistics solutions to enable collection growth.” 

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