Re­cy­cling mile­stone for Marl­bor­ough

Marlborough Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - PAULA HULBURT

A re­cy­cling rev­o­lu­tion is set to see plas­tic bags get a new lease of life across the re­gion

Shop­pers across Marl­bor­ough will now be able to take used soft plas­tic bags back to su­per­mar­kets for re­cy­cling.

The move fol­lows a bid by re­tail stores across the South Is­land to re­duce the im­pact the bags have on the en­vi­ron­ment.

In 2016, Ki­wis dropped off over 100 tonnes of soft plas­tic bags for re­cy­cling which equals 25 mil­lion bags.

The Pack­ag­ing Fo­rum re­vealed the ini­tia­tive on Fri­day as they an­nounced the ex­pan­sion of the Love NZ soft pack­ag­ing re­cy­cling pro­gramme.

Project man­ager Lyn Mayes says the in­dus­try-led project will now reach 70 per cent of New Zealan­ders.

‘‘Thanks to the sup­port of our re­tail part­ners, we’re ex­cited to have the pro­gramme now of­fered through a large num­ber of re­tail­ers through­out the South Is­land.

‘‘Uniquely, our re­tail part­ners will be us­ing their own dis­tri­bu­tion net­works to trans­port the col­lected ma­te­ri­als back to Christchurch,’’ she says.

Car­rier bags, fresh pro­duce bags, plas­tic bak­ery bags and frozen food bags can now be re­cy­cled in store.

The plas­tic bags used to wrap the Marl­bor­ough Ex­press, Marl­bor­ough Mid­week and Satur­day Ex­press to protect them from the el­e­ments will also be able to be re­cy­cled.

Marl­bor­ough re­gional ed­i­tor for Fair­fax Me­dia Ni­cola Coburn says the ini­tia­tive is ‘‘very wel­come’’.

‘‘While it was im­por­tant to us and our read­ers that we pro­tected the pa­pers in plas­tic, it was a con­cern when it came to re­cy­cling and one we were look­ing at ad­dress­ing.

‘‘This is a great out­come for the whole com­mu­nity as soft plas­tics can now be dis­posed of sus­tain­able while out do­ing the weekly shop,’’ she says.

Count­down, New World and Pak ’n Save will have bins in place from this month where soft plas­tics can be dropped off.

Plas­tic bags do not de­com­pose or biode­grade be­cause the micro­organ­isms that are part of the process are not able to use the plas­tic as food. Stor­age and ship­ping costs of­ten out­weighed the value of re­cy­cling them.

Marl­bor­ough Dis­trict Coun­cil solid waste man­ager Alec McNeil says a re­cent coun­cil sur­vey re­vealed most peo­ple would pre­fer to use plas­tic bags that could be re­cy­cled.

‘‘It is pos­si­ble that as a re­sult of this we will see less plas­tics bags through,’’ Alec says.

‘‘The pop­u­la­tion iden­ti­fied this as a cause for con­cern and we are happy to pro­mote it.’’

PHOTO: RICKY WIL­SON/STUFF

Pak ‘n Save owner Mark Elk­ing­ton with their new soft plas­tics re­cy­cling bin.

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