The New Zealand government in a national partnership with local retailers and the Packaging Forum has rolled out a new scheme called Love NZ to boost the recycling of soft plastics, such as shopping bags.  

The programme will see 51 recycling services opened at Countdown, New World, Pak’nSave, Moore Wilson’s and The Warehouse stores across Wellington. The taxpayer will fund the scheme through the government’s Waste Minimisation Fund using grants of $700,000 to the Packaging Forum and $510,000 to Astron Plastics Group. 

Environment minister Nick Smith says the programme is modelled after a similar scheme run in Australia by supermarket chain Coles Group. He says, “This soft plastics recycling scheme is the next logical step for households in reducing waste. We have made huge progress, with most households now recycling paper, cardboard, glass, metal cans and hard plastic containers. 

“Soft plastics which are used with shopping bags, frozen vegetable bags and hundreds of other products will now be able to be collected, re-manufactured and re-used.” 

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