More than 200 million individual plastic bags and wrappers have been collected and recycled since soft plastic recycling was introduced to New Zealand. Between April 2016 and March 2020, the scheme has seen 212 million plastic packages recycled. This included 19 million in the past 10 months alone, which is the equivalent of about 1.5 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Future Post, based in Auckland's Waiuku, turns plastic into fence posts - producing about 540 posts per day. One tonne of plastic is capable of making 84 10cm-thick posts, made up of around 240 milk bottles and 2000 plastic bags.
And contamination levels have reduced. "This shows people are getting better about recycling," Lyn Mayes, manager of the soft plastic recycling scheme, told Stuff.
With New Zealand no longer exporting its soft plastic, Mayes admitted less plastic was being collected from fewer locations, but the upshot was it was all being recycled by Future Post and Second Life Plastics.