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15 July 2021 | Sustainability

Soft Plastic Recycling Arrives in Hawke's Bay

Hawke's Bay residents can now recycle their soft plastic packaging at The Warehouse stores in Hastings and Napier, as part of the Packaging Forum's Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme.

The scheme has 160 collection points across New Zealand, and more than 125 members that represent 78% of soft plastics consumed annually. It covers the entire process from collection through to processing and is 100% funded by industry.

David Benattar, Chief Sustainability Officer at The Warehouse Group, says the scheme highlights the meaningful impact of true circularity.

“The Warehouse is excited to further expand the Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme across our national store network. We now have 29 stores which are part of the programme. Since first launching in our stores in October 2015, close to 15.5 million individual units of soft plastic, equating to nearly 70 tonnes, have been collected and diverted from landfill.

As a business we are prioritising the delivery of product packaging with reduced plastic and improved recyclability and reusability, while also providing more solutions that will make recycling plastic and hard-to-recycle waste possible for consumers.”

Soft plastics collected in the region will be recycled by Future Post at its plant in Waiuku, South Auckland, where it will be repurposed into plastic posts for use in conventional and specialised sectors, such as fencing, gardens and vineyards.

Jerome Wenzlick, Founder of Future Post, says that the partnership with the Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme benefits everyone.

"Every Future Post contains 1500 bags or wrappers. So, every time Hawke's Bay shoppers fill one of the soft plastic collection bins, that's another post off our production line. 

“As we have grown, the scheme has expanded, and it’s great to be able to recycle soft plastics from here and turn them into posts for the region’s vineyards.”

Sandra Hazlehurst, Mayor of Hastings welcomed the initiative.

“It’s great to see Hastings and wider Hawke’s Bay included in the Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme and I encourage all residents to use the collection bins at their nearest participating store.

“It has been very challenging for our community to be unable to recycle these plastics until now. I see this as a very positive step by these retailers who, working with Future Post, are taking responsibility for collecting and finding a new use for soft plastic packaging. They are to be congratulated.”

The soft plastics recycling bins are available at The Warehouse stores in Hastings and Napier South; Countdown stores in Hastings, Napier (Munroe Street); Napier South (Carlyle) and Waipukura; Pak'nSave Tamatea Napier and New World Waipukurau, with more locations joining the programme over the coming weeks.

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