27 Jun 2019

Soft plastic recycling in gradual return to Auckland

10:34 am on 27 June 2019

Soft plastic recycling is back in action in Auckland after a hiatus since December 2018.

Soft plastic packaging recycling bin

Soft plastic recycling was halted late last year, but it's now back up and running. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The scheme, operated by the Packaging Forum, was halted during a search for New Zealand businesses that could process and recycling soft plastics into new products.

People can drop off soft plastics at 37 Countdown, The Warehouse and Huckleberry stores across Auckland.

The initiative is being reintroduced gradually to make sure that the material collected can actually be used.

It'll be expanded as the capacity to recycle increases.

Levin-based company Second Life Plastics will use collected material to create products such as ducting for underground cables.

Future Post will combine soft plastic materials supplied with other plastics to manufacture plastic fence posts.

Auckland Council's programme director of waste solutions Parul Sood said soft plastics were "any plastics that can be scrunched into a ball or broken by hand, and include packaging waste such as shrink wrap, bubble wrap, or large plastic bags".

"Putting the right stuff in your recycling bin is important. When people throw soft plastics in their recycling bin, it causes major problems at the recycling facility as soft plastics jam the sorting equipment,

"We also encourage Aucklanders - both producers and consumers - to look for ways to avoid unnecessary product packaging and minimise plastic consumption."

The scheme relaunched in May.

Full details about accepted types of soft plastics are available on The Packaging Forum's website.

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