Element - - Waste Champions -

Ever felt the frus­tra­tion of not be­ing able to put plas­tic wrap into your re­cy­cling bin? The rea­son is that it jams the equip­ment at the re­cy­cling sort­ing plant. If you’re the per­son who bags up your re­cy­cling in shop­ping bags and drops the whole thing into the re­cy­cling bin, know that the whole lot just ends up in land­fill due to the pres­ence of the plas­tic bag.

Come Labour Day, things are go­ing to change. A part­ner­ship be­tween The Pack­ag­ing Fo­rum and gov­ern­ment and called the RED­cy­cle Pro­gram, will see col­lec­tion points for these plas­tics at New World and PAK ‘n’ SAVE su­per­mar­kets and The Ware­house. The col­lec­tion will start first in Auck­land, and then roll out to Hamil­ton to in­clude Count­down and Briscoes stores, with fur­ther ex­pan­sion to Welling­ton, Can­ter­bury, Otago, Bay of Plenty and other re­gions over the next three years.

The con­tract for col­lec­tion in Auck­land has been given to the Abil­i­ties group, which em­ploys over 130 peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

The pro­ject in­volves brands across all the dif­fer­ent soft plas­tic bag types – bread bags, frozen food bags, con­fec­tionery wrap, pasta and rice bags, toi­let pa­per pack­ag­ing, san­i­tary hy­giene pack­ag­ing and courier en­velopes – ba­si­cally any soft pack­ag­ing that can be scrunched in a ball.

Birds Eye, Cot­ton­soft, Good­man Fielder, Hug­gies, Kleenex, Nes­tle, New Zealand Post, Pams, SunRice, Astron, Elldex Plas­tics and Re­plas will all bring their sup­port to pro­mo­tions by the ma­jor re­tail­ers to help fa­mil­iarise shop­pers with this new type of re­cy­cling.

Once a con­tainer load of bales has been gath­ered the plas­tic is shipped to the Re­plas fac­tory in Aus­tralia where it’s pel­letised and moulded into plas­tic pro­files, used in the con­struc­tion of fur­ni­ture, or cus­tom moulded into seat­ing and other in­stal­la­tions.

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