Plastic bags for recycling

Councils bring in flexible plastics recycling

Households in four Victorian council areas will be able to dispose of their plastic bags and flexible plastic packaging in their recycling bins from this month.

The Flexible Plastics Recycling Program is being introduced for residents of Boroondara, Cardinia, Hobsons Bay and Nillumbik.

This program is being funded by the Victorian Government’s Metropolitan Local Government Waste and Resource Recovery Fund, in partnership with SKM Recycling Pty Ltd and the Australian Packaging Covenant.

Items that can now be placed in household recycling bins across these four areas include plastic shopping bags, clean cling wrap, freezer bags, bubble wrap and soft plastic packaging from groceries such as bread, rice, pasta, cereal, toilet paper and frozen food packaging.

The four councils will send their residents an information pack with instructions on what can and cannot be recycled, as well as 10 collection bags in which to bundle the flexible plastics. The bags also act as a reminder tool by listing the items that can and can’t go inside. Once all the supplied bags have been used, householders can simply use any plastic supermarket bag to consolidate flexible plastic items into one bag.

“We are very proud to be one of the first councils in Victoria to introduce kerbside flexible plastics recycling,” said Chris Eddy, Hobsons Bay City Council CEO. “As flexible plastic packaging is one of the last remaining recyclable items that is traditionally disposed of in the garbage bin, this exciting change takes us one step closer to eliminating waste that goes to landfill.”

Cardinia Shire Council’s Waste Officer, Melanie Kerr, also welcomes the new service, describing it as a big step for kerbside recycling .

“Plastic bags and soft plastic packaging is a big part of the waste going to landfill every year, however recycling technology has now improved, making it easier to recycle into new products,” she said. “These include decking, park benches, playground equipment, packaging material and containers, and textiles for clothing, toys and furniture.”