Community & Environment

Soft plastic collections return to Hamilton

Shoppers in and around Hamilton can now recycle their plastic shopping bags and plastic wrappers thanks to the Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme, run by the Packaging Forum and 100% privately funded by industry partners.

Collections came to a halt in December 2018 while the scheme searched for Kiwi businesses that could process and recycle soft plastics into new products. Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme Chair Malcolm Everts is pleased to announce the company now works with local processors and scheme partners to reduce soft plastic waste.

“One year ago, there was no onshore processing of post-consumer soft plastics,” he says. “Today there are two North Island plants – Future Post in Waiuku and Second Life Plastics in Levin, which are great examples of Kiwi ingenuity. We are working with them and our members to increase demand for their products.”

Soft plastics are widely used in packaging. They are any plastics that can be scrunched into a ball or broken by hand, and include produce bags, bread bags, bubble wrap, courier and postage bags and plastic wrapping. These items previously would have gone to landfill, but can now be turned into fence posts, water slides, garden edging and cable covers.

The new collection points are Countdown Huntly, Countdown Anglesea St, Countdown Te Rapa, Countdown Dinsdale, Countdown Claudelands, The Warehouse Te Rapa and The Warehouse Central City.

Trent Fowles, Hamilton City Council’s Compliance Manager, says the scheme’s return is great news for Hamilton’s environmental goals.

“This initiative is a great example of how businesses can support local government to deliver a community outcome,” says Mr Fowles.

“Minimising the environmental impact of plastic is extremely important and ties in with the new kerbside recycling service the Council is set to roll out on 1 July 2020.”

In an effort to minimise our waste footprint and reduce the amount of rubbish sent to landfill, Hamilton residents will soon be getting three more bins to manage their household waste.

The new kerbside waste and recycling service will include a 120-litre (L) rubbish wheelie bin, a 240L recycling wheelie bin, a 45L crate for glass recycling and a 23L food scrap bin.

More information on the new kerbside service rollout will be available early in the new year.

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