Soft plastic recycling returns to Dunedin thanks to local business partnerships

Residents of Dunedin can once again recycle their soft plastic packaging at eight participating Countdown, New World and The Warehouse stores in Dunedin and Mosgiel.

The distinctive recycling bins have returned to Countdown stores in South Dunedin, Anderson Bay, Dunedin Central and Mosgiel; New World stores in downtown, Gardens and Mosgiel; and the South Dunedin Warehouse.

Malcolm Everts, Chairman of the Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme, says: “It is fantastic to bring soft plastic recycling back to Dunedin after a three year hiatus. It has been a truly collaborative effort involving program members and the local community to set up a collection and transport service from Dunedin , via Christchurch, to Future Post in Auckland.

“Cargill will collect the bags from stores; Waste Management will package and palletize the materials; Cottonsoft will transport the bales to Goodman Fielder in Christchurch who will transport them through their network to Auckland – a true example of teamwork.

Kim Calvert, Country Manager Cottonsoft says: “As a local manufacturing company with around 30 employees and their families living in Dunedin, it is important to us that they can recycle their soft plastic packaging. Using our existing transportation provider network to move recycled materials means we can help kick-start collections without adding additional vehicles to our roads.

Michael Anderson, Head of Sustainability at Goodman Fielder, comments: “We are proud to be working closely with the program to bring soft plastic ‘bales’ back to Auckland in spare capacity on existing routes, minimizing the carbon footprint of the necessary transport. Since February 2021, we have transported over 55 tonnes of soft plastic from Christchurch to be made into poles at Future Post. To put that into perspective, that equates to about 85 million bags or wrappers.

Countdown’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability, Kiri Hannifin, says his store team and customers are delighted to see the return of soft plastics collection at Countdown stores in Dunedin and Mosgiel “It’s great to have this operational again in Dunedin, and we will continue to work hard with the Soft Plastics Recycling Program to offer even more collection points at Aotearoa stores in the future,” said she declared.

Mike Sammons, Sustainability Manager for Foodstuffs NZ, says: “At Foodstuffs we understand how important it is for our customers to be able to recycle soft plastic and reduce the amount of waste reaching landfills. Our Dunedin stores are very happy to partner with dedicated collectors, transporters and processors to make this work”

David Benattar, director of sustainability at The Warehouse Group, said the expansion of the scheme in Dunedin is another important step in making it easier and more accessible for Kiwis to recycle unwanted soft plastics. “We are delighted to provide this recycling service to our customers in Dunedin. Next time you visit The Warehouse, we’d love for you to bring your soft plastics like bread bags or bubble wrap which we’ll help recycle and reuse into garden posts and fences and keep them from ending up in the trash. dump.”

“We are delighted to be working with our industry partners to provide Kiwis with easy ways to recycle soft plastics, as this is an important step towards creating a plastic-free Aotearoa. Warehouse South Dunedin joins 29 from our other stores nationwide that participate in this program and, through our network, we have collected over 15 million individual pieces of soft plastic since August 2019.”

Aaron Hawkins, Mayor of Dunedin, welcomed the initiative: “It’s great to see soft plastic recycling bins back in our stores and even better that all plastic is now recycled in Aotearoa and not sent to the foreigner. It’s a great example of our local businesses working together to reduce our collective impact on the environment.

Soft plastic collected in the region will be recycled at Future Post’s factory in Waiuku, South Auckland.

Jerome Wenzlick, founder of Future Post, says partnering with the Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme benefits everyone: “Each Future Post contains 1,500 bags and wrappers. So every time Dunedin shoppers fill one of the soft plastic collection bins, that’s another shift in our production line,” says Wenzlick.

The Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme has over 160 members representing approximately 78% of the post-consumer soft plastics consumed annually by the food and grocery industry. The scheme bears the cost of collection until treatment. This recycling service is 100% funded by industry members of the voluntary Product Stewardship Scheme and almost 200 drop off points are now available to three quarters of New Zealanders.

“The program’s return to Dunedin is a testament to the dedication of our members and team to meeting challenges and delivering industry-led solutions,” said Rob Langford, CEO of The Packaging Forum. “This is a true example of how industry can voluntarily collaborate and succeed in its responsibility to manage the end-of-life recovery of packaging.”

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