The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) and the Packaging Forum have announced a new trans-Tasman partnership aimed at ensuring more soft plastics are collected and recycled.
In an Australian first, 11 million plastic bread tags will be removed from local waste streams by the end of 2021 with the introduction of 100 per cent recycled and recyclable cardboard bread tags.
Coles has partnered with Victorian recycling organisations RED Group and Replas to install a concrete slab carpark made partly out of recycled soft plastics.
Australia’s largest food manufacturer Nestlé has partnered with recycler iQ Renew and launched a trial to combat post-consumer soft plastic going to landfill.
Australian supermarket giant Coles has reached a milestone of one billion pieces of soft plastics recycled through its partnership with REDcycle, a recovery initiative for post-consumer soft plastic.
RecycleSmart users have have diverted 2.2 tonnes of waste from landfill in the last three months, following expansion into every council across Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.
According to a RecycleSmart statement, 90 per cent of the collected material consisted of soft plastics and clothes.
“RecycleSmart is an Australian start-up with a mission to revolutionise waste management and preserve the environment,” the statement reads.
“We work with councils and businesses to help communities benefit from the economic and environmental advantages of resource recovery.”
RecycleSmart offers a door to door PickUp service whereby customers’ recyclable waste is collected for recovery, including soft plastics, e-waste, clothes and problem waste such as batteries and light bulbs.
“In addition to our rollout across new councils, we’ve also launched a Workplace PickUp service so that offices, schools and business can recycle more and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill,” the statement reads.
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Lion Group has become the first major brewer in Australia to partner with REDcycle, a national soft plastic recycling initiatives.
REDcycle collects and reuses soft plastics unsuitable for kerbside recycling, with 2000 drops-off points at Coles and Woolworths supermarkets throughout Australia.
According to Lion CEO Stuart Irvine, over 2.75 tonnes of Lion packaging was returned by consumers between July and December 2018.
“For more than 20 years, Lion has invested in reducing litter, improving recyclability and increasing the use of recycled content in our packaging,” Mr Irvine said.
“In the beer industry, plastic rings have been a real focal point in the war on plastic, and Lion was well and truly ahead of the curve in phasing out these rings 10 years ago, with the last plastic rings removed from Lion-owned products over three years ago. This is something we are very proud of.”
The partnership with will see Lion add the REDcycle logo to its soft plastic packaging over the next 18 months.
Mr Irvine said Lion is also evaluating alternative packaging technologies to further reduce the company’s reliance on single-use plastics.
“We are also working with industry partners, such as the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, to develop broader industry solutions that minimise the impact of our packaging and promote the circular economy to minimise waste in the environment,” Mr Irvine said.
“While we work our way through these big supply chain changes, actively supporting programs such as REDcycle helps raise awareness and encourages our consumers to ramp up their recycling efforts.”
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The Victorian Government has announced all single-use plastic bottles will be banned from Zoos Victoria sites in an effort to move towards zero public waste going to landfill.
From 1 May single-use plastic bottled water and soft drinks, along with straws and plastic bags, will no longer be used or sold at Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo or Healesville Sanctuary.
Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said plastic pollution is an urgent environmental problem that is having a significant impact on marine wildlife.
“Each year Zoos Victoria’s Marine Response Unit deals with an increasing number of callouts to marine wildlife in distress,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
“Zoos Victoria is leading by example to reduce Victorians’ impact on the environment, advance the sustainable use of resources and help protect marine wildlife.”
Ms D’Ambrosio said Zoos Victoria is the state’s leading zoo-based conservation organisation.
“This move is part of a broader effort to influence visitors and other organisations to make positive changes towards a greener, more wildlife-friendly future,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
Additionally, from June this year the three Zoo properties will have a new public three-bin waste system – organics, co-mingled and soft-plastics such as single-use food wrappers.
Ms D’Ambrosio said soft plastics will be recycled through a circular economy arrangement where Zoos Victoria will buy back products made from the plastics it recycles.
The move follows the state government’s ban on single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags, which comes to effect in November.
“We’re investing in initiatives that maximise recycling and reduce the amount of material that goes to landfill – it’s fantastic to see Zoos Victoria taking strong leadership to help achieve that goal,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
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