Cantabrians can now recycle their soft plastic packaging. The Packaging Forum has launched the Love NZ soft plastic recycling programme at 50 PAK’nSAVE, New World, The Warehouse, and Countdown stores across Christchurch. MP Nicky Wagner joined representatives from local government, industry and community groups at New World Ilam to be among the first to use the new Collect, Drop and Recycle service.
Foodstuffs (NZ) Ltd Managing Director Steve Anderson says the programme has already been a resounding success in Auckland and Hamilton, with a tonne of soft plastics currently being collected each week from New World and PAK’nSAVE stores alone.
Lyn Mayes, Project Manager explains: “We expect Cantabrians to recycle around 75 tonnes of soft plastic packaging annually at the 50 stores once people have got used to the new system.
“The first audit has found that 63% of collected packaging is shopping bags, fruit and vegetable bags and 31% is grocery packaging primarily bread bags, toilet roll packaging and the soft plastic wrap around drinks packs. We encourage people to also recycle their frozen food bags, confectionery and biscuit wrap, chip bags, pasta and rice bags and courier envelopes.”
“Until today soft plastic packaging was destined for Canterbury landfills, but it will now be made into new durable plastic products. For example, the new recycling bins at stores contain a 10% blend of soft plastic materials collected at North Island stores and processed as part of trials with Astron in Auckland. That’s around 90 plastic bags used in the production of each bin. REDcycle, which manages operations, has shipped the first container of plastics to Replas in Melbourne where the packaging is manufactured into bollards, traffic speed bumps, decking and tracking, furniture and a whole range of weather resistant plastic products suitable for construction, conservation, commercial and community groups.”
In addition to funding from The Packaging Forum and the participating retailers, the service is supported by Asaleo Care, Ceres, Cottonsoft, Farro Fresh, Frucor, Goodman Fielder, Kelloggs, Kimberly-Clark, Mars, Mondelez, Mother Earth, Nestle, NZ Post, Pams, Pure Delish, Simplot, Sunrice, Wrigley, Amcor, Astron, Elldex and Replas.
The Packaging Forum promotes the Love NZ brand under license from the Ministry for Environment. http://www.recycling.kiwi.nz/soft-plastics