Community & Environment

Recycling soft plastics? It’s a wrap

You can scrunch it, you can ball it up, you can rip it, you can even get popping if it’s got bubbles.

There’s no need to bin it though. Whatever type you’ve got, it’s easy to recycle plastic wrap in Hamilton these days, including plastic shopping bags and plastic wrappers like produce bags, bread bags, bubble wrap, courier and postage bags and other plastic wrapping. Just drop them into one of seven drop off points available throughout the city at selected Countdown and Warehouse stores.

The initiative is provided under the Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme which is run by the Packaging Forum, and is 100% funded by industry. It means that these items that previously have gone to landfill can now be turned into fence posts, water slides, garden edging and cable covers.

Malcolm Everts, Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme Chair, says the soft plastics are processed by two North Island plants – Future Post in Waiuku and Second Life Plastics in Levin.

“This year, despite the disruption caused by COVID-19 we have increased the number of stores and regions serviced by the scheme. This has been made possible because of the increased demand for our soft plastics from our New Zealand processing partners.

Future Post has more than doubled its processing capacity this year thanks to new sales with local and central government departments and industry. The more demand for the products manufactured from our soft plastic waste, the more we can and will collect for recycling.”

Mr. Everts encourages everyone that has access to one of the participating stores to drop off their clean and dry plastic bags and wrappers, so we can recycle them.

Kirsty Quickfall, Resource Recovery Advisor at Hamilton City Council, says the scheme provides a great example of how businesses can support local government to deliver a community outcome. “It pairs really well with Council’s new kerbside recycling service which kicked into action this month (September),” she says.

“It’s also well-aligned with our waste minimisation targets in Council’s 2018-2024 Waste Minimisation Management Plan, which aim to achieve a 10% reduction in the per capita amount of rubbish to landfill and a 10% increase in the per capita amount of material diverted from landfill within four years,” she says.

“With Council and Hamilton residents working together to achieve these goals – as well as initiatives like the Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme – we hope to divert more than 100,000 tonnes of anticipated waste from landfill in the next 10 years.”

Collection points and more info

You can drop off your soft plastics at Countdown Huntly, Countdown Anglesea Road, Countdown Te Rapa, Countdown Dinsdale, Countdown Claudelands, The Warehouse Te Rapa and The Warehouse City. You can also find a participating store using the store locator at

More information about the new kerbside service, including guidance on what to put in which bin, is available online at

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