Soft plastics, the kind that can be scrunched into a ball, are among the biggest problems in the kerbside recycling system. In fact 8 out of 10 councils consider them the number one problem as they get caught in the recycling machinery.*
The good news is these plastics can be recycled at many supermarkets. The bad news, as revealed in research done for Recycling Week, is that only 22% of people know about the program!
This free program is made possible through RedCycle, which has worked with Coles and Woolworths/Safeway Supermarkets to set up collection bins in stores across most of metro-Australia. The cost of collecting and processing the material is covered by many of Australia’s best-known manufacturers (including the Planet Ark Endorsed Naturale Toilet Tissue.)
The plastic is made into furniture for schools and kindergartens among other things.
What You Can Recycle
A good way to remember to recycle these plastics is to put them straight into your reusable shopping bag. You can recycle
- Plastic shopping bags
- Bread, rice, pasta, lolly and cereal bags
- Biscuit packs (but not the trays)
- Frozen food bags
- Newspaper wrap
- Bubble wrap
- Dry cleaning bags
- Fruit and veg bags and netting
- Toilet paper and similar product packaging
- Old green bags (and other re-usable bags)
*There are a handful of councils that can accept bags and soft plastic in the recycling: Lismore and Ballina in NSW; Busselton in WA; as well as Booroondara, Nillumbik, Hobson's Bay and Cardinia Shire Council in VIC.
For more information about single-use plastics, click here.