An innovative free national programme has launched in New Zealand to upcycle or recycle ‘un-recyclable’ plastic food storage waste such as sandwich bags into sustainable items.
Each year, more than 250,000 tonnes of plastic waste is thrown away and disposed of in New Zealand landfills, and until now plastic bags and wraps could not be placed in municipal recycling systems.
However the GLAD Food Storage Brigade, a collaboration between GLAD and TerraCycle, will change all that, meaning that creating a litter-less lunch is now possible with the nationwide recycling initiative that will use a ‘collect, store and ship’ method.
New Zealanders can now start collecting their GLAD food storage products in cardboard boxes or containers, claim their free shipping label from the TerraCycle website, then ship their waste items locally via NZ Post. There will also be public drop-off points.
The plastic food storage products will be pelletised, then recycled into sustainable items such as park benches. Collectors will be awarded two cents per used GLAD food storage product sent in, which they can then redeem to go towards a not-for-profit organisation or charity of their choice.
“The national programme is an exciting new initiative that has positive benefits for the environment by diverting waste from landfill and giving back to the community,” GLAD chief executive Stacey Mearns says.
The first initiative of its kind in New Zealand, the programme can be used by individuals or groups. TerraCycle NZ general manager Anna Minns says the company, a world leader in development solutions for recycling ‘un-recyclable’ items, is also tackling other difficult-to-recycle waste streams with popular programmes for
Visit www.terracycle.co.nz to learn more or to sign up to the Brigade programme.