More than 800,000 soft plastic bread bags from thousands of Queensland households have been converted into a new recycled aggregate replacement, with Mackay Regional Council in Queensland pouring the state’s first batch of ‘Polyrok’ concrete last week.
REDcycle, a recovery initiative for post-consumer soft plastic, launched the ‘Wonder Recycling Rewards for Schools’ program in collaboration with Wonder manufacturer Goodman Fielder, collecting more than six tonnes of soft plastic bread bags in schools across Australia in 2021.
Those bags now form part of an innovative and sustainable recycled aggregate replacement in concrete, known as Polyrok. Mackay Regional Council is the first organisation in Queensland to use this product.
The Polyrok recycled aggregate replacement was developed in conjunction with RMIT University.
Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said this was a significant coup for council as they look to continue their drive toward a sustainable future for Queensland plastic.
“Polyrok is a great end use for soft plastics that would otherwise go to landfill or end up in our oceans. These three and a half tonnes of Polyrok represent 830,000 plastic bags,” Williamson said.
The Wonder Recycling Rewards program has donated three and a half tonnes of Polyrok to Mackay Regional Council to use in community infrastructure projects.
“Every bag that our community can collect in programs like this one, and at the REDcycle collection points, means fewer soft plastics go to our Materials Recovery Facility, where they need to be separated out, creating processing delays and increasing our landfill costs,” Mayor Williamson said.