Soft Plastic Recycling makes a welcome return to the Bay of Plenty

To mark the start of Plastic Free July, the Packaging Forum’s Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme has announced the recycling service will soon be returning to the Bay of Plenty region. 

From Monday 13th July, people will be able to drop off their soft plastic bags and wrappers at Countdown Bethlehem, Countdown Taupo, Countdown Rotorua (Fenton Street) and Countdown Whakatane, plus another Waikato store with Countdown Matamata. 

This expansion means that around 60% of New Zealanders will now have access to a drop off location within 20 km of their home or work.  
Chair of the scheme Malcolm Everts is pleased to announce this latest expansion: 

 “Throughout New Zealand, there’s been a real focus on plastic waste reduction and re-use initiatives including the phasing out single use plastic bags, moving produce and bakery items out of plastic; and to using plastic alternatives for packaging. 

“While this focus has seen plastic consumption decline, and we’re supportive of these reduction efforts, we also want to provide a genuine recycling service for the plastic Kiwis continue to use. This is particularly important given the increased number of people choosing packaged products in recent months for food safety reasons. 

“Making the scheme available to 60% of New Zealanders is a great step forward for the scheme and for the future of our recycled plastics industry.”
Scheme Manager Lyn Mayes said adding new stores in new regions is important: 

“Residents across the Bay of Plenty have been calling for this service to resume so it’s great to give them good news. Over the coming months, we will look to add new stores in new regions, as long as we can do so within the available processing capacity.

“While Plastic Free July is about avoiding plastic, it’s also about reducing plastic waste to landfill and preventing litter. We are asking people that do have a soft plastic recycling bin in their region to do their bit and collect up their soft plastics at home and take it into their nearest participating store so we can recycle it.”

Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, Safety & Sustainability says they are pleased to see the Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme expand into a number of their Bay of Plenty stores. 
“Making sure there’s an end of life solution for the packaging on products we sell is hugely important to our business. We’re really proud to be supporting the Scheme, which plays a key role in helping to divert a significant amount of packaging waste from landfill. We’re looking forward to helping the scheme extend to even more parts of Aotearoa in the coming months!” Kiri says.