Soft Plastic Recycling reaches the capital

19 October 2016: As part of the Soft Plastic Recycling Programme, Wellingtonians can now recycle soft plastics at 18 Countdown stores from Otaki to Wellington.

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 which have previously gone mostly to landfill.

Since its launch in November last year, the initiative has seen Countdown shoppers drop off more than 9,400kgs of soft plastic for recycling.

Countdown General Manager Corporate Affairs, James Walker, says Countdown is thrilled to be extending the programme for its Wellington customers to get behind.

“We are proud to be one of the founding members behind this programme, which involves all those in the life-cycle of plastic packaging - manufacturers, distributors and consumers. It’s a unique collaboration which enables everyone to help 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 that we can minimise the impact that our business has on the environment,” says Mr Walker.

Countdown currently has 63 stores in Auckland, 10 stores in the Waikato, and 18 stores in Canterbury that are already involved in the programme.

Lyn Mayes, Project Manager of the Soft Plastics Recycling Programme said it is exciting to be bringing the Soft Plastics Recycling Programme to the capital, and expects there will be a strong level of pick up from Wellingtonians.

“The programme has been really successful in Auckland, Hamilton, and Christchurch, and we know that the Wellington community will very quickly get used to collecting their soft plastic packaging and dropping it off at their nearest store.

“We anticipate around 72 tonnes of soft plastic packaging will be recycled every year through the 56 participating stores in the Wellington region,” 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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