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Wellington retailers’ join recycling initiative

countdown Auckland metroMajor supermarket retailers across the country have joined the Love NZ soft plastic recycling programme, aimed at reducing the amount of waste hitting landfills.

Paul Walsh, executive GM Community & Environment at The Warehouse joined Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith yesterday 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,” said Walsh.

The programme has received $700,000 from the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund to match funding by industry.

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.

Supermarket giant, Countdown, has extended its Soft Plastic Recycling Program to 18 of its stores from Otaki to Wellington.

The program, a consumer recycling initiative that invites customers to recycle a range of soft plastic packaging such as empty bread and frozen food bags, and plastic shopping bags which have previously gone mostly to landfill, was launched in November last year. Since then, the initiative has seen Countdown shoppers drop off more than 9,400kgs of soft plastic for recycling.

“We are proud to be one of the founding members behind this program, which involves all those in the life-cycle of plastic packaging — manufacturers, distributors and consumers. It’s a unique collaboration which enables everyone to help reduce the amount of waste going to landfills,” said James Walker, GM corporate affairs, Countdown.

Countdown currently has 63 stores in Auckland, 10 stores in the Waikato, and 18 stores in Canterbury that are already involved in the programme

Lyn Mayes, project manager of the Soft Plastics Recycling Program, said it is exciting to be bringing the Soft Plastics Recycling Programme to the capital, and expects there will be a strong level of pick up from Wellingtonians.

“The programme has been really successful in Auckland, Hamilton, and Christchurch, and we know that the Wellington community will very quickly get used to collecting their soft plastic packaging and dropping it off at their nearest store,” Mayes said.

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