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The Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme is part of the The Packaging Forum family which invests in and promotes recycling solutions, so you can help keep New Zealand green and clean.

Our focus is to help find end of life solutions for packaging, particularly for recycling soft plastic.

The Soft Plastic Recycling Programme is about informing New Zealanders about how to keep plastic bags and packaging out of landfill. Collect all the soft plastic packaging which you use at home, make sure the bags are empty and dry and drop them into the Soft Plastics Recycling bins at supermarket and retail premises.

The project takes all soft plastic bags including bread bags, frozen food bags, toilet paper packaging, confectionery and biscuit wrap, chip bags, pasta and rice bags, courier envelopes, shopping bags, sanitary hygiene packaging - basically anything made of plastic which can be scrunched into a ball.

We partner with social enterprises Abilities in Auckland; Cargill Enterprises in Dunedin; Earthlink in Wellington and the Wairarapa; Kilmarnock Enterprises in Christchurch and Rangiora; 3R in Hawke's Bay; Waitaki Resource Recovery Trust in Oamaru and Agrisea in Hauraki District who collect the soft plastic recycling from the stores. Customers should bring their used soft plastics back to store and put them in the soft plastics recycling bin. 

Plastic bag recycling can even be turned into useful products you can buy! 

Recycling soft plastic is something you can do. The Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme website tells you all about plastic bag recycling and plastic wrap recycling, and how to recycle grocery bags and to recycle bubble wrap. 

Look for the Label

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More and more brands are now putting our soft plastic 'recycle at store' logo on their packaging to help you know what can be recycled. The Soft Plastics Recycling scheme is now part of the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) and you will start to see more of this labelling system in New Zealand. 

Customers can bring their used soft plastics back to store and put them in the plastic bag recycling bin.  Recycle soft plastics in the dedicated bins at selected Countdown, The Warehouse, New World, Pak'nSave and other participating stores.

There is now onshore processing of post-consumer soft plastics; Future Post in Waiuku; SaveBoard in Hamilton and Second Life Plastics in Levin - which are great examples of Kiwi ingenuity and where we send your recycled soft plastic.

Help us to Create a Circular Economy

The soft plastics that you drop off are made into a range of plastic products which are on sale in New Zealand.

To have a sustainable circular economy where waste materials are re-processed into new valuable products and commodities, we need industry, councils and government departments to start buying products which are made from our recycling efforts.

Look out for the Soft Plastics Recycling bin at your local store.  Remember: only soft plastic recycling that is clean and dry should be placed into this bin. Otherwise the whole lot is contaminated and cannot be recycled.

Thank you for being such loyal supporters of soft plastic recycling!

How Soft Plastic Recycling is Processed

We have produced a video to show you what happens to the soft plastic, and the range of products it is being made into by Future Post and Second Life Plastics.  The video also tells you what we CAN and most importantly CAN’T collect. 

Recycle Plants 

In 2018 there was no onshore processing of post-consumer soft plastics. Today there are three North Island plants; Future Post in Waiuku; saveBOARD in Hamilton and Second Life Plastics in Levin - which are great examples of Kiwi ingenuity and where we send your recycled soft plastic.

Recycling Soft Plastics Into Fence Posts

We’ve teamed up with Future Post to supply them with soft plastics which are blended with HDPE milk bottle plastic to create the plastic fence post. 

saveBOARD turning waste into building products

saveBOARD blends soft plastics with used beverage cartons and mixed fibre to make low carbon building materials.

New Zealand builders can now replace plywood particle board and plaster board with environmentally sustainable construction boards made from every day packaging waste.Multiuse 5.jpg

Garden Edging from Soft Plastics

In the lower North Island, Second Life Plastics turns plastic waste into garden edging and cable covers.