Mt St Joseph Sisters in Whanganui Aotearoa New Zealand (ANZ) and staff have a long history of working to minimise waste – from large compost bins for all garden waste, to the well-established worm farm which recycles paper that comes from the office and house staff. Both have been in use since being set up in 2006. A recent visitor who sells vermicast (worm castings) was pleased to see the wormery still working well.

Whanganui City Council has its own re-cycling station. The Mt St Joseph maintenance staff member, Aroha, visits this re-cycling station each week with glass, plastics of most varieties, tins, newspaper, and cardboard.

But as we know soft plastics have been a problem – bread bags, plastic vegetable bags, posted mail covers, etc, etc!  These mount up and no supermarket in Whanganui has a soft plastic re-cycling drop-off.  So, Mt St Joseph staff went hunting online and found a New Zealand company set up to re-cycle soft plastic waste. Future Post takes these plastics and processes them into fence posts.

Although it is not doing away with the plastic, it is re-purposing it and producing a long-lasting product. Farmers are happy to use these posts, as are vineyard owners, as they last so well with the many strong wires needed for grapes.

The bags to get the plastics to Future Post are supplied by NZ Post, and once purchased are sent free of charge. There is always a bag ready to be packed at Mt St Joseph.

Here we see Karen and Pam squeezing every last soft plastics they can into the post bag before sending it off.

Many of the Sisters in the city are now doing the same – filling their own bags.

Good ideas catch on!