Kimberly-Clark New Zealand helps launch recycling partnership

Kimberly-Clark New Zealand has partnered with the Soft Plastics Recycling Programme which launched on Wednesday in Auckland, to help New Zealand consumers recycle soft-flexible plastic packaging and plastic bags.

Sharna Heinjus, General Manager – NZ, was invited to attend as a speaker to formally launch the Soft Plastics Recycling program, which is also in direct partnership with The Packaging Forum in New Zealand. The launch was hosted by the Honourable Dr Nick Smith Minister for the Environment, officials from local and central government, businesses and community groups.

4.3 million soft plastic bags are being thrown away every day in New Zealand and these can all be recycled through this new program which includes all soft plastic bags and packaging such as bread bags, frozen food bags, and toilet paper packaging.  Through the program, consumers can collect their packaging at home and drop it into the Love NZ Soft Plastics Recycling bins at their local participating retail stores.

The Soft Plastics Recycling Program has received $700,000 from the New Zealand Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund to match funding by industry bodies, including Kimberly-Clark New Zealand, with plans to expand and provide a more national reach over the next three years.

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Sharna Heinjus - General Manager, NZ, addresses attendees at the event

This new initiative has brought together key New Zealand retailers, such as New World, PAK’nSAVE, Countdown and The Warehouse as well as some of New Zealand’s leading food and grocery brands, to introduce drop-off recycling facilities at stores so that consumers can recycle a whole range of soft plastic bags and packaging which until now have gone to landfill.

The program is being run by RED Group, who operates the REDcycle program in Australia of which Kimberly-Clark has been a partner since 2012. Much like the Australian model, The New Zealand program allows for plastic packaging to be collected from retail stores, processed, baled and initially sent to Australian manufacturer Replas in Melbourne where it will be made into new products like outdoor park benches and playground equipment.

Sharna Heinjus, General Manager – NZ, spoke on behalf of Kimberly-Clark and all other brand suppliers at the recent event, speaking highly of our innovative partnership with the REDCycle program. Through this partnership, consumers helped to divert and recycle more than 1.5 million pieces of Kimberly-Clark packaging in 2014 by dropping waste at REDCycle bins located at participating supermarkets.