The supermarket-based soft plastics recycling programme has been extended to 14 New World, Countdown, Fresh Choice, Pak'n Save and The Warehouse stores in Dunedin.
Dunedin mayor Dave Cull joined representatives from industry, community groups and shoppers at New World, Great King S to celebrate the launch of the programme. There are now around 300 stores nationwide which accept soft plastics recycling.
Project manager Lyn Mayes said in 2016, the programme recycled around 100 tonnes of soft plastic packaging, equivalent to 25 million bags. This year as at 31st May, 115 tonnes had already been collected towards a target of 300 tonnes by the end of the year.
Retail NZ has welcomed the extension.
“Plastic bags are a key part of packaging everything from chocolate wrappers to potato chip bags, and the extension of the Soft Plastics Recycling Programme to Dunedin means that residents can now return all scrunchable plastics to Countdown, New World, Pak'n Save and The Warehouse stores,” Greg Harford, Retail NZ’s general manager for public affairs, said today. “The extension of the programme means that Dunedinites now join residents of Auckland, the Waikato, Wellington and Canterbury in having a viable option for the return and recycling of soft plastics including, but not limited to, plastic bags.
“Plastics are often used in packaging because they are safe for food, hygienic and lightweight. The Soft Plastics Recycling Programme helps reduce the environmental impact of plastic by diverting scrunchable plastics from landfill, and is a success, with volumes growing substantially over the last 18 months. Retail NZ hopes the programme will be as successful in Dunedin as it has been elsewhere in the country, and we expect Kiwis will be increasingly keen to make use of the service as they learn more about it”.