International news: NZ stores in soft-plastics recycling initiative

New World and PAK’nSAVE stores in New Zealand will introduce REDcycle soft-plastic recycling bins to enable shoppers to bring back their used plastic bags and other soft plastics, which are currently unable to be recycled through the traditional bins at people’s homes.

The recycling scheme, to be managed by The Packaging Forum and supported by the NZ Government, will roll out in Auckland in September, with plans to expand to the Waikato, Wellington, Canterbury, Otago, Bay of Plenty, Manawatu and other regions over three years.

The objective is to provide access to the recycling of soft plastics for around 70 per cent of the NZ population.

REDcycle, which also runs the program in Australia, will supply recycling bins in selected New World and PAK’nSAVE stores. Initially, the materials will be sent back to Australia – where they are made into park benches and fitness circuits for playgrounds – until there are facilities in New Zealand.

“We recognise that plastic bags pose an ongoing environmental challenge and a lot of our customers have told us they want a better solution for recycling plastic bags,” said Mike Sammons, Sustainability Manager at Foodstuffs New Zealand, owner of the New World and PAK’nSAVE franchises.

“Foodstuffs, and its brands New World and PAK’nSAVE, in partnership with other food manufacturers, retailers and packaging companies, have been actively looking for a viable solution so that we can do our part in reducing the ongoing environmental impact.

“We’ll be actively encouraging our customers to get in behind this fantastic opportunity, as its success in the initial phase will ensure further rollout nationally.”

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