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Post to post recycling trial under way

Recycled plastic vineyard posts

An innovative trial offering courier pick-up of soft plastics for recycling into fence posts is now offered by NZ Post.

They have teamed up with The Packaging Forum and a new business called Future Post which will turn the plastics into fence posts.

Future Post was founded in the time-honoured Kiwi way of looking for an ingenious solution to a challenging problem.

While attempting to build a fence on a former rubbish dump site, farmer Jerome Wenzlick of Waiuku (near Auckland) found his wooden fenceposts were breaking as he tried ramming them through all the waste plastic in the ground.

With a passion for the environment, Jerome had the revelation that if he could build a stronger fencepost from waste plastic, he’d also help solve a bigger environmental problem, leading to a commitment to produce premium products that perform better and for longer. The resulting product is designed, re-recycled and made in New Zealand.

A cooking recipe

Jerome, who is the managing director of Future Post, says the process of turning soft plastics (including bread bags, courier bags and bubble wrap) into fence posts is like “cooking”.

“There’s definitely a bit of a recipe to it and we did a lot of homework to make sure we got the recipe right,” Jerome says.

Using processing machinery specifically designed and made in New Zealand, Jerome says the soft plastic packaging is granulated into small chips and put through an extruder before being moulded into fence posts.

It takes approximately 1500 bags to make one standard fence post.”


He says the factory can turn out about 800 posts a day. They are suitable for use in farms, gardens, parks and vineyards.

“Purchase one of NZ Post’s latest pre-paid Soft Plastic Recycle Courier bags, fill it with your clean, soft plastics, book a courier for pick-up and we will take care of the rest,” NZ Post Group Sustainability Manager Dawn Baggaley says.

“Supporting this project and making it easier for Kiwis to recycle their soft plastics aligns perfectly with NZ Post’s own sustainable packaging goals,” Dawn says.

Working with key partners

NZ Post will be working with key partners including The Warehouse Group and Foodstuffs to make the pre-paid Soft Plastic Recycle Courier bags widely available.

The Warehouse Group’s Chief Sustainability Officer, David Benattar, says the new soft plastics recycling service is a step towards giving all Kiwis access to convenient recycling solutions.

“We’re focused on making it as easy as possible for our customers to recycle, and through this new initiative, anyone can pick up a pre-paid courier bag at any one of The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery stores nationwide or online, as well as on, take them back home or to the office and fill with their soft plastics and NZ Post will do the rest,” David says.

Foodstuffs New Zealand’s Head of Sustainability, Mike Sammons, says this pilot is another way the business is encouraging customers to reduce their packaging waste.

“We want to do all we can to help our customers reduce their packaging waste and providing this recycling service to our customers based in more remote locations and our online shoppers is another important piece of the jigsaw,” Mike says.

Helping those without access to recycling

Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme Manager Lyn Mayes says the partnership is a way to open the soft plastic recycling scheme to communities who do not have access to a soft plastic recycling bin, or those who are unable to get to their local store to drop off their soft plastics.

“People have been asking us (The Packaging Forum) about whether they can post their soft plastics, so we are delighted to launch this service,” Lyn says.

The soft plastics will be collected from NZ Post and baled by Abilities Group and then dropped off at Future Post for recycling.

The pre-paid recycle courier bags went on sale on April 22 at selected NZ Post stores and online and selected New World supermarkets, The Warehouse and The Warehouse Stationery stores and cost $7 each.

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For more information:

NZ Post soft plastic recycling


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