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Wellington preschoolers recycle 8,700 yoghurt pouches

Wellington preschoolers recycle 8,700 yoghurt pouches to save whales

The kids at St Mark’s Church School have diverted 8,795 yoghurt pouches from landfill on behalf of the Wellington community in a national recycling programme operated by recycling pioneers, TerraCycle.

Once the yoghurt pouches are collected, St Mark’s Church School free-ships them to TerraCycle, who shreds, cleans and melts them down into raw materials to create garden beds, park benches and playgrounds.

Additionally, for each kilo of Fonterra yoghurt pouches recycled, St Mark’s Church School has earned $1.00 to put toward school projects.

Sue Adams from St Mark’s Church School said the young students, who are pioneering the initiative, started recycling to prevent rubbish reaching marine life.

“The children were worried about the amount of yoghurt pouch waste and the impact it has on the earth and our animals. They took an interest in whales, and did not want the whales to eat the plastics and get sick,” said Sue.

Sue said the children were astounded by the amount of waste they have produced.

“Once we reached 10kg of recycled yoghurt pouches we gave the children two 5kg bags of flour to lift off the ground. They were amazed at how heavy it was and that we had produced so much waste just in yoghurt pouches since the start of the year,” said Adams.

“We’re really inspired by the commitment of New Zealand schools to recycling, and by their hard work in raising awareness about waste and sustainability,” said Jean Bailliard, General Manager of TerraCycle Australia & New Zealand.

How the TerraCycle programmes work

TerraCycle operates several free recycling programmes that help New Zealand’s recycle hard-to-recycle waste – such as empty shampoo bottles, food packaging, coffee capsules and cosmetic products – free-of-charge.

Collectors simply visit www.terracycle.co.nz, create an account and join any of the free recycling programmes that suit them. Next, they collect the hard-to-recycle waste in any old cardboard box or container. Once full, they log onto their TerraCycle account, download a free New Zealand Post shipping label, stick it on the box and drop it to their nearest New Zealand Post Office.

To date, across 21 countries, TerraCycle has diverted 3.8 billion pieces of waste from landfill and incineration, and has raised US$15.6 million for non-profit organisations and charities worldwide.

To learn more about TerraCycle’s free recycling programmes, visit www.terracycle.co.nz/en-nz/brigades/.


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