INDEPENDENT NEWS

Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme Starts Collections In Northland

Published: Fri 6 Mar 2020 09:32 AM
Northland residents will be able to drop off their soft plastic packaging from Monday 16th March at Countdown’s Whangarei, Tikipunga and Dargaville stores.
Malcolm Everts, Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme Chair, is pleased to announce this latest expansion, which will collect soft plastics for supply scheme partner Future Post to process.
“We are delighted to add these new collection points for Northland residents to celebrate the iconic Northland Field Days which are being held in Dargaville. Future Post have sold lots of posts to Northland farms and businesses and we are continually being asked about collecting soft plastics in the region, so this was an easy decision to make and importantly allows us to expand within the existing processing capacity.
“Participating Countdown stores will collect the soft plastics materials, bale them and transport them south so the scheme can deliver the baled materials to Future Post in Waiuku to be made into posts.”
“Since we re-started collections in May 2019, the scheme has helped turn over 13 million plastic bags and wrappers into posts, cable covers and garden edging here in the North Island. That’s a major shift from relying on overseas markets to deal with our waste. We are also encouraged to see less plastic being used with brands seeking alternatives and consumers choosing not to use single use plastic for fresh produce etc.”
“However, it’s important to remember that soft plastic is chosen by manufacturers because it protects and preserves food which reduces food waste and because it is light and requires less energy and fuel to transport, it can have a lower carbon footprint than other materials. That’s why we need to increase processing capacity here in New Zealand to provide a circular economy for these materials.”
"We will add more collection points and regions as demand for posts increase. Put simply the more fence posts sold, the more plastic we can collect and recycle.”
Scheme members’ levies fund collections from stores, quality checks, baling, transport to end markets and contribute to the processing costs as well. This is different from the traditional model where the processor pays the collector/recycler for the materials.
Countdown's General Manager Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability, Kiri Hannifin, says the expansion into the Northland region is great news for both customers and team.
“We’re really proud to support the continuing growth of the soft plastics recycling scheme. Northland is home to some of New Zealand’s most stunning beaches and we’re determined to play our part in helping to protect them. Giving our customers a way to recycle soft plastics, which could have otherwise ended up in our waterways and oceans, is an important part of this and we know they will be very glad the scheme has returned to the region!”
Customers can check which stores are offering the service on our website store locator (recycling.kiwi.nz)

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