NZ Post to pick up discarded soft plastics for recycling into fence posts

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New Zealand Post (NZ Post) has partnered with food packaging nonprofit organization The Packaging Forum and plastic recycler Future Post to offer a courier pick-up service for discarded soft plastics.

Once collected by an NZ Post courier, the soft plastics are sent to Future Post, which granulates them into small chips and puts them through an extruder before molding them into fence posts. It takes approximately 1,500 bags to make one standard fence post and the factory can turn out around 800 posts a day.

Dawn Baggaley, sustainability manager at NZ Post Group, said, “Purchase one of NZ Post’s latest pre-paid Soft Plastic Recycle Courier bags, fill it with your clean, soft plastics, book a courier for pick-up and we will take care of the rest. Supporting this project and making it easier for Kiwis to recycle their soft plastics aligns perfectly with NZ Post’s own sustainable packaging goals.”

NZ Post will also be working with retail company The Warehouse Group, and zero-emission food delivery company Foodstuffs to make the pre-paid Soft Plastic Recycle Courier bags widely available. The pre-paid bags cost NZ$7 (US$4.75) each and will be on sale at selected NZ Post stores and online at the post’s website, as well as at selected New World supermarkets and The Warehouse and The Warehouse Stationery stores and websites from April 22.

David Benattar, chief sustainability officer at The Warehouse Group, said, “We’re focused on making it as easy as possible for our customers to recycle. Through this new initiative, anyone can pick up a pre-paid courier bag at any one of our The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery stores nationwide or online, as well as on, take them back home or to the office, fill them with their soft plastics and NZ Post will do the rest.”

Mike Sammons, head of sustainability at Foodstuffs New Zealand, said, “We want to do all we can to help our customers reduce their packaging waste. Providing this recycling service to our customers based in more remote locations and our online shoppers is another important piece of the jigsaw.”

Lyn Mayes, scheme manager at Soft Plastic Recycling, said, “The partnership is a way to open the soft plastic recycling scheme to communities who do not have access to a soft plastic recycling bin, or those who are unable to get to their local store to drop off their soft plastics. People have been asking us (The Packaging Forum) about whether they can post their soft plastics, so we are delighted to launch this service. The soft plastics will be collected from NZ Post and baled by Abilities Group and then dropped off at Future Post for recycling.”

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