The Packaging Forum has announced Abilities Group will the ones servicing new plastic bag recycling bins in retail stores. The recycling initiative was announced last month and will be rolled out to selected New World, Pak’n Save and The Warehouse stores. Abilities provides meaningful work for those with disabilities that might struggle to find it otherwise.
The Glenfield-based organisation has about 130 people on board whom it provides meaningful work and opportunities for.
Abilities Group managing director Peter Fraher says the company is excited to be a part of the scheme, as Abilities is all about sustainability.
“We were established to help drive social change with respect to employment for people with disabilities,” Fraher says.
He says the organization also focuses on reducing the environmental impact of products and packaging, which aligns perfectly with what the plastic bag initiative is trying to achieve.
Several household name brands are on board to help promote the new recycling scheme.
Cottonsoft, Huggies, Kleenex, Nestle, New Zealand Post, Pams, New Zealand Post, SunRice, Birds Eye, Replas and Elldex Plastics are all going to help familiarise shoppers with plastic bag recycling.
Chair of the Public Place Recycling Scheme, Andrew Hewett, says since the initiative was announced a month ago, the industry has galvanised together.
He says they’re creating promotions to educate the public about what they can recycle, which is any soft packaging that can be scrunched into a ball.
There will also be a store locator app on the website www.recycling.kiwi.nz/soft-plastics/ telling people where they can drop off recycling.
The recycling scheme allows consumers to gather their single-use plastic shopping bags, as well as food and grocery packaging that can’t be collected kerbside, and take them to a supermarket drop off point.
The collected soft plastic is then used to make new items, like outdoor furniture, signage and even playgrounds.
The same programme by Redcycle launched in Australia in 2012 and now is in 580 supermarkets.
Over $1 million has been put towards the scheme from the Government.
According to the Public Place Recycling Scheme, New Zealanders use more than 1.6 billion plastic bags in their home every year.