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Last modified: 29 Jul 2020 10:47am

A two piles of white plastic bags hang vertically off a metal hook in front of some wooden shelves

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 this month, 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 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 in Rolleston until Friday 2 August.

Solid Waste manager Andrew Boyd says the Council was keen to join to the programme and provide a positive alternative for businesses left with unused bags. “We know lots of businesses could have bags left over. 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 (the recycling company will only accept pre-consumer bags), 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.

Because only clean and unused bags are 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