Retail’s recycling soft plastics program

plastic bagA soft plastics recycling program has been announced by Minister for the Environment, Dr Nick Smith, and the Packaging Forum.

This program will enable customers to return plastic bags to participating stores after use for collection and recycling into useful public goods like children’s playground equipment, park benches and recycling bins.

Customers will also be able to return soft plastics like pasta packets and bread bags, which are not currently taken in council kerbside collections.

It follows an initiative which has been running in Australia.

The project will initially be trialled at New World, Pak’nSave and The Warehouse stores in Auckland from September, before being rolled out to Countdown stores and other centres.

The government is chipping in with $1.2 million dollars to help fund the project.

Countdown welcomes this industry-led initiative. Its GM of strategy and corporate affairs, Richard Manaton, says: “We know Kiwis are concerned about plastic bags littering the environment rather than being recycled. Countdown has a strong focus on waste reduction and we’re eager to be a part of this trial.

“The strength of this program is that it includes all those involved in the life-cycle of plastic packaging; the manufacturers, distributors and consumers.

“We’ll hopefully see this program rolled out to more than 70 per cent of New Zealand over the next three years.”


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