Reducing your single-use soft plastic consumption
The Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme was suspended in the Wellington region from 31 December 2018, due to the demand for the recycled product not keeping up with the amount of material that was collected. Collections have resumed in selected stores in Wellington City from October 2019, but not in the wider region. To find out more visit the Packaging Forum's website.
Here are five easy things you can do to reduce your use of soft plastics and prevent soft plastics from ending up in landfill:
- Consider carefully when you buy; look at the options when buying a product and check out the amount of soft plastic packaging. Look for alternatives that ideally have no packaging or those that can be re-purposed or recycled.
- Put your produce items directly in your shopping trolley and then straight into a reusable shopping bag at the checkout. You don’t need to use soft plastic bags for each produce item. If you really want to use individual bags for each item, re-use old ziplock/soft plastic bags, paper bags, or lightweight mesh/cloth bags.
- BYO reusable containers, especially when grocery shopping. Check with your local butcher, delicatessen, or supermarket butcheries and delis and ask if they will put meat and other deli foods in your reusable containers, rather than soft plastic bags. Buy food, pet food, and cleaning products in bulk from bulk bin outlets and BYO reusable containers.
- Use reusable beeswax food wraps, instead of plastic food wrap and snack bags. These are made from cotton, keep food fresh, are simple to clean, and can be washed and re-used for up to 12 months. At the end of their life, beeswax wraps can be composted if you have a home compost bin. For school and work lunches, take your lunch in a reusable container, rather than in a plastic bag.
- If there are ‘must-have’ items on your shopping list that have soft plastic packaging, take the time to drop a line and ask the manufacturer if they will consider more sustainable packaging options for their product.