$1.2M for shopping bag recycling project

  • 18/07/2015
$1.2M for shopping bag recycling project

More than $1.2 million has been set aside to help recycle thousands of tonnes of plastic that currently can't be - like shopping bags.

Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today the Government would invest money to allow soft plastics that cannot be recycled to be reused.

A $700,000 grant to the Packaging Forum will help trial a new recycling service at major Auckland supermarkets, while a $510,000 grant to Astron Plastics Group will help set up a new dry-cleaning facility in Auckland that can recycle 2000 tonnes of soft plastics.

"This approach has proved successful in Australia through the Coles Group and saved thousands of tonnes of plastic going to landfill," Dr Smith said.

"The longer-term objective of this initiative would be for 70 percent of New Zealanders to have access to a drop-off facility for soft plastics within 20 kilometres of their home."

He said the move was better than a compulsory levy or ban.

"We need to do better as a country in how we manage plastics but we need to do so in ways that make environmental sense, are cost-effective and practical."