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Wellington shoppers can now recycle their soft plastic

Press Release

19th October 2016

The Packaging Forum today launched the Love NZ soft plastic recycling programme at 56 The Warehouse, Countdown, PAK’nSAVE, New World and Moore Wilson stores from Otaki to Wellington. The Hon Nick Smith, Minister for the Environment joined representatives from local and central government, industry and community groups at The Warehouse in Lyall Bay to celebrate the ongoing expansion of a programme which the Minister launched just under 12 months ago in Auckland.

Lyn Mayes, Project Manager told guests:

“We are delighted to bring soft plastic recycling to the Lower North Island. Over 70 tonnes of soft plastic packaging has been dropped off at 200 locations across Auckland, Waikato and parts of Canterbury which is equivalent to around 18 million bread bags, frozen and chilled food bags, toilet roll packaging, pasta and rice bags, confectionery and biscuit wrappers, courier packs and single use shopping bags. Given the interest already from Wellingtonians to our Facebook page, we anticipate a rapid uptake in this region.”

“53% volume collected is unbranded plastic bags such as fruit and vegetable bags, cereal bags or branded or unbranded shopping bags; and 42% is branded food and grocery packaging. Until today this was all destined for the region’s landfills but can now be made into new durable plastic products. For example, the new store recycling bins manufactured by Pioneer in Whangarei contain a 10% blend of soft plastic materials processed as part of trials with Astron. That’s around 90 plastic bags used in the production of each bin. REDcycle which manages operations ships most of the plastics to the programme's manufacturing partner Replas in Melbourne where the packaging is recycled into bollards, traffic speed bumps, decking and tracking, furniture and a whole range of weather resistant plastic products.”

Paul Walsh, Executive GM Community & Environment at The Warehouse joined Minister Smith to present a Bench made from 15,000 plastic bags to The Warehouse’s community partner Wellington Zoo:

“Supporting our communities and the environment is a key strategic focus for The Warehouse. Soft plastics pose an ongoing challenge which we’re committed to, and thanks to the rapid uptake of this programme we’re seeing a big difference already.”

“We’re proud to play a part in now bringing this initiative to Wellington and continuing to support New Zealand communities to be more sustainable. We’re thrilled that Hutt based social enterprise Earthlink has come on board to provide store collections and that Hutt City Council is actively involved providing a recycling bin for ratepayers.”

The programme has received $700,000 from the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund to match funding by industry. In addition to funding from The Packaging Forum and the participating retailers, the service is supported by Asaleo Care, Ceres, Cottonsoft, Farro Fresh, Fonterra, Frucor, Griffins, Hubbards, Goodman Fielder, Huckleberry, Kelloggs, Kimberly-Clark, Mars, Mondelez, Moore Wilson’s, Mother Earth, Mrs Rogers, Nestle, NZ Post, Pams, Pure Delish, Simplot, Spicers, Sunrice, Wrigley, Amcor, Astron, Coveris, Snell Packaging and Replas.

For Information

The Packaging Forum promotes the Love NZ brand under license from the Ministry for Environment. http://www.recycling.kiwi.nz/soft-plastics

© Scoop Media

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