16 December 2020 – Convex New Zealand has helped the surfside town of Raglan take another big step towards eliminating single-use plastic, by making recycled rubbish bags for their kerbside waste collection.
The new Convex bags have allowed Raglan’s previous imported rubbish bags made from virgin plastic to be replaced with more sustainable New Zealand-made bags, made from recycled waste. The new bags were launched in late November, with the only noticeable change to Raglan residents being the new green colour.
The change was driven by the Raglan community enterprise, Xtreme Zero Waste. Along with running the Raglan Resource Recovery Centre, Xtreme Zero Waste is contracted by the Waikato District Council to carry out Raglan’s weekly kerbside waste collection. Their diligent efforts to eliminate landfill waste has enabled Raglan to divert nearly 80% of their total solid waste stream, and won Xtreme Zero Waste the national 2020 Energy Globe Award.
Turning Raglan’s waste into reusable resources is also a big focus of Xtreme Zero Waste. Convex is helping them achieve that by incorporating resin made from discarded Raglan plastic in their new recycled rubbish bags.
Xtreme Zero Waste Innovation Manager, Rick Thorpe says, “Raglan has a history of leading the way in sustainability and we want to continue that. Our community worked with the Raglan Chamber of Commerce, Community Board and Whaingaroa Environment Centre to ban the use of single-use plastic in our local businesses about two years before the national ban, so it was important for us to find a more sustainable option for our kerbside rubbish bags. Convex worked with us to find a viable solution, which has helped us take a major step towards our goal of establishing a circular economy and supporting local processors and manufacturers.”
Raglan’s discarded plastic is sent to Auckland where it is processed into recycled resin pellets at Convex’s recycling partner, Astron Sustainability. The pellets are then sent to Convex in Hamilton to be incorporated into the manufacturing process for Raglan’s recycled rubbish bags.
Convex Managing Director, Owen Embling says, “Our work with Xtreme Zero Waste is very exciting. One of our driving goals is to provide workable solutions for our customers to minimise single-use packaging, and in this case we’ve been able to do that for a whole community. Raglan and Xtreme Zero Waste are a great example of what can happen when a community works together to eliminate single-use plastic and we look forward to seeing many other communities learning from them and following their lead.”
You can learn more at: xtremezerowaste.org.nz