Local supermarkets across Otago have removed the soft plastic recycling bins from their stores following the suspension of a local recycling scheme. The Packaging Forum’s Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme has been operating in Countdown and Foodstuffs stores since 2015. Following the end of the scheme, some supermarkets have begun to remove the bins despite the idea being embraced by consumers.
Prior to the recycling services, plastic would end up in the landfill. With the suspension of the recycling scheme, it is likely that plastics will find its way back there at this stage. Although Foodstuffs are now looking at other ways in which they can reduce plastic waste—namely, reduce plastic packaging from its own branded products—taking a step back seems to be something that needs correcting. Foodstuffs New Zealand’s external relations head, Antoinette Laird, said: “There is a lack of capacity for processing and a lack of demand for re-processed products.”
A Packaging Forum spokesman said the company hoped to resume a sustainable service in April. “We hope you understand that we need to take short term action to ensure the long-term success of the scheme.”