This latest expansion will mean there will be over 100 locations offering a drop-off service for soft plastic bags and wrappers throughout New Zealand from Taranaki up to Northland and around the Wellington region. Lyn Mayes, Scheme Manager says:
“It is fantastic to bring soft plastic recycling to the Taranaki district for the first time. Based on experience shoppers will recycle more than 25 tonnes of soft plastic or 4 million bags or wrappers every year.”
“Countdown will bale the soft plastic at the back of their stores and transport it back on their returning store delivery vehicles to Auckland where it will then be sent to Future Post to be turned into plastic posts.“
“Future Post has more than doubled its processing capacity thanks to new sales with local and central government departments and industry. We are doing what we promised and expanding the number of stores and our geographic coverage so that we can meet Future Post’s demand for soft plastic materials. Everything we collect is recycled here in Aotearoa.”
The Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme has over 80 members representing around 74% of the soft plastic materials consumed annually. The scheme pays for the costs of collection through to processing.
Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, Safety & Sustainability, Kiri Hannifin, says:
“We’re working to extend the scheme to as many of our stores as possible, because we recognise the hugely important role it plays in reducing waste to landfill. This is the very first time we will have soft plastics recycling available to our Taranaki customers and we’re really pleased to be able to offer a recycling option for packaging that would otherwise end up in people’s rubbish bins! “
Neil Holdom, New Plymouth District Mayor has welcomed the initiative:
“This is a fantastic, forward-thinking partnership and a great example of Kiwi ingenuity in how to deal with those hard-to-recycle soft plastics. We’re on a journey to Zero Waste and we’re 100% behind projects that boost recycling and cut down what goes to landfill. It’s great to see Taranaki now in the Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme and I encourage all residents to use the collection bins at Countdown stores.”
This recycling service is 100% funded by industry members of the voluntary product stewardship scheme.