The Soft Plastic Recycling Programme has reached the capital, and Wellingtonians can now recycle soft plastics at participating Countdown, New World and Pak’nSave stores. To date, 63 Countdown stores in Auckland, ten in the Waikato and 18 in Canterbury have jumped on board.
“We are proud to be one of the founding members behind this programme, which involves all those in the life-cycle of plastic packaging; manufacturers, distributors and consumers. It’s a unique collaboration that enables everyone to help reduce the amount of waste going to landfills,” said James Walker, general manager, corporate affairs, Countdown.

A Wellingtonian himself, Foodstuffs’ sustainability manager Mike Sammons knows all too well how much soft plastics recycling was needed.
“It’s not uncommon around these parts to see plastic bags and wrappers getting blown about by the wind, snagged in bushes, clogging up drains, and heading out to sea,” he said. Speaking of the initiative as a whole, Sammons said he was proud to say New World and Pak'nSave supermarkets had filled the first 23 places, in terms of volume, with five Auckland stores fighting it out at the top.

The Soft Plastic Recycling Programme aims to provide 70 percent of Kiwis with access to a drop-off facility within a 20 km drive. The next regions to join the initiatives are set to be Otago, Bay of Plenty and the Manawatu.