Waikato stores now recycling plastic bags

21 March 2016: Following the success of a trial in Auckland, ten Countdown stores in and around Hamilton are now participating in the industry-led Soft Plastics Recycling Programme.

The Soft Plastics Recycling Programme has been trialled in ten Countdown stores across Auckland since November 2015 and in other retailers. The consumer recycling initiative invites Countdown customers to recycle their unwanted single-use plastic bags and other soft plastic packaging via their local participating retailer.

Since the launch of the Soft Plastics Recycling Programme last November, shoppers at Countdown stores in Auckland have dropped off over one tonne of soft plastic bags for recycling.

The Hamilton launch event held at Countdown Claudelands today signals the introduction of the initiative to the following Countdown stores in the Waikato: Bridge Street, Chartwell, Dinsdale, Hamilton, Claudelands, Huntly, Te Rapa, Cambridge, Nawton, and St James.

The programme allows consumers to recycle a whole range of soft plastic packaging such as empty bread, cereal and frozen food bags which have previously gone to waste.

Countdown Managing Director, Dave Chambers, says Countdown is excited to offer the soft plastic recycling service to its Waikato customers.

“The success of the initial trial in Auckland and expansion to our Waikato stores is a result of the industry collaborating to provide customers with an easy and convenient way to recycle their soft plastics.

“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,” says Mr Chambers.

Lyn Mayes, Project Manager of the Soft Plastics Recycling Programme said they expect eight million items of soft plastic packaging will be recycled every year through the participating stores in Waikato.

“We know people quickly get used to collecting their soft plastic packaging and dropping it off at their nearest store so we can recycle it into new products,” says Ms Mayes.

A seat made from 15,000 plastic bags was donated to the students from Peachgrove Intermediate School today.

Since 2006, Countdown has reduced its waste to landfill by 43 per cent, despite having 37 per cent more selling space (e.g. new and extended stores). Countdown has also increased its recycling rate by 39 per cent since 2006 and now recycles 2.3 times more than it sends to landfill.

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