Christchurch stores now recycling soft plastics

10 June 2016: As part of the Soft Plastic Recycling Programme, Cantabrians can now recycle soft plastics at 18 Countdown stores around the Christchurch region, extending north to Rangiora and south to Ashburton.

The programme is a consumer recycling initiative that invites customers to recycle a range of soft plastic packaging such as empty bread and frozen food bags, and plastic shopping bags that would have previously gone to waste.

Since its launch in November last year, the initiative has seen shoppers drop off more than 29 tonnes of soft plastic for recycling across all retailers.

Countdown General Manager of Corporate Affairs, James Walker, says Countdown is thrilled to be part of this initiative, and is pleased to be extending the programme for our Christchurch customers to get behind.

“The benefit of being part of this programme is that it includes all those involved in the life-cycle of plastic packaging; the manufacturers, distributors and consumers. It’s a unique collaboration that allows everyone to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills.

“We recently won the Resilience to Climate Change award at the Green Ribbon Awards, run by the Ministry for the Environment, for our work in increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. Being part of this initiative is another way we can minimise the impact our business has on the environment,” says Mr Walker.

Countdown currently has 10 stores in Auckland, and 10 stores in the Waikato already involved in the programme. The remaining Auckland stores are due to start collecting the soft plastic by mid-July, which will almost double the availability in Auckland.

Lyn Mayes, Project Manager of the Soft Plastics Recycling Programme said they expect around 75 tonnes of soft plastic packaging will be recycled every year through the participating stores in Christchurch.

“We know people quickly get used to collecting their soft plastic packaging and dropping it off at their nearest store, and we are excited to see Cantabrians get behind the initiative.

“Our plan is to roll out the Soft Plastic recycling programme to cover 70% of the country over the next two years,” says Ms Mayes.

Since 2006, Countdown has reduced waste to landfill by 43%, despite having 37% more selling space (eg new and extended stores). Countdown has also increased its recycling rate by 39% since 2006, and now recycles 2.3 times more than they send to the landfill.

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