From this month, customers across the South Island can now recycle their soft plastics while they pop in for their weekly shop at any Countdown supermarket. All 38 Countdown stores from Blenheim to Invercargill have joined the Soft Plastic Recycling Programme, including Nelson which launched today, with the rest of the South Island launching in the coming weeks.
The programme is a consumer recycling initiative that enables customers to recycle a range of soft plastic packaging such as empty bread and frozen food bags and plastic shopping bags which have previously gone to landfill.
The South Island wide launch of the programme was made possible through the support of Countdown’s logistics partners, who will transport the collected plastics back to a central distribution hub in Christchurch.
Lyn Mayes, Project Manager of the Soft Plastics Recycling Programme said that the South Island roll out of the programme has meant that the initiative now reaches over 70% of New Zealanders.
“Thanks to the support of our retail partners, who are using their own distribution networks to transport the collected soft plastics, we’re excited to have the programme now offered through a large number of retailers throughout the South Island.”
When the programme was first introduced, the goal was to reach 70 percent of the country within three years. This has now been achieved in less than two years.
Countdown General Manager Corporate Affairs, James Walker, said Countdown is thrilled to extend the programme to the wider South Island for customers to get behind.
“This is a big step forward for the Soft Plastics Programme, bringing on board all of our stores in the South Island means more of our customers will now have the ability to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. The great thing about this programme is that it includes manufacturers, distributors and consumers, everyone involved in the life-cycle of plastic bags," said Walker.
“We recently won the Business Leadership award at the Green Ribbon Awards, run by the Ministry of the Environment, for our food rescue programme which diverts food away from landfill to food rescue charities. The soft plastic programme is a further commitment waste minimisation in New Zealand."