Recycling option for plastic bags

by Mike Isle

Businesses in Selwyn are being given a chance to recycle their unused single-use plastic bags with the support of the Selwyn District Council.

With the national ban on businesses distributing single-use plastic bags coming into effect on July 1, some councils in the Canterbury region have teamed up to offer businesses a second chance with their leftover bags.

The programme will see councils collect the bags for free and send them to a recycling plant company for processing, with the aim of preventing large stocks of unused bags being sent to landfills.

All retailers and charity shops in Selwyn that have unused stocks of clean single-use plastic bags will be able to drop them off at the Pines Resource Recovery Centre until Friday, August 2.

Council solid waste manager Andrew Boyd said the council was keen to join the programme and provide a positive alternative for businesses left with unused bags.

“We know lots of businesses could have bags leftover. The point of the ban is to get these bags out of circulation and stop them ending up in the environment so it would have been unfortunate if it led to bags being dumped, especially before being used.”

The bags must be new and be made of HDPE (supermarket type) or LDPE (usually more durable) plastic and have carry handles (including die cut handles).

Degradable, biodegradable or oxo-degradable bags are not included, as they cannot currently be recycled.

Due to only clean and unused bags being accepted, household plastic bags are also not included in this campaign.

Businesses unsure as to whether their bags are included in the ban can find information on mfe.govt.nz/waste/plastic-bag-ban.