Shoppers in Auckland and the Waikato have dropped off more than 25 tonnes of soft plastic packaging at 70 participating stores in Auckland and 23 in Hamilton and the Waikato, equivalent to around 4.5 million units of soft plastic bags, wrappers and pouches. The Love NZ recycling initiative, launched by The Packaging Forum, involves New World, PAK’nSAVE, The Warehouse and selected Countdown stores.
“New World customers have collected 50 percent of the total volume,” said Lyn Mayes, project manager of The Packaging Forum. “New World New Lynn has just taken over the lead as the top performing Auckland store from New World Eastridge and New World Hillcrest has held the lead in Hamilton since March.”
According to the latest report from REDCycle, which operates the program, 63 percent of collected packaging consisted of shopping bags, fruit and vegetable bags, while 31 percent was grocery packaging.
“We are now turning the soft plastic packaging into new plastic products,” said Andrew Hewett, chair of The Packaging Forum. “The first container has shipped to Replas in Melbourne, where the packaging will be manufactured into bollards, traffic speed bumps, decking and tracking, furniture and a whole range of durable and weather resistant plastic products suitable for construction, conservation, commercial and community groups.”
From June 10 onwards, 50 stores in Canterbury will also join the programme, and expansion is planned for Greater Wellington in October.