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.”
Envorinex Managing Director Jenny Brown has opened Tasmania’s first soft plastic recycling plant in industrial hub Bell Bay.
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.
Kirk Richardson, Director City Operations, City of Onkaparinga, explains how the council is using recycled glass and soft plastic in the first SA road.
The ACT is trialling asphalt made from recycled material including soft plastics, used printer toner cartridges, crushed glass and reclaimed asphalt material.
Roads Minister Chris Steel said the ACT is looking into how it could legislate a waste use requirement for new roads across the state, adding that if Australia hopes to build a circular economy all governments need to act and establish markets for the re-use of material.
“Every tonne of this innovative asphalt product will contain approximately 800 plastic bags, 300 glass bottles, 18 used printer toner cartridges and 250 kilograms of reclaimed asphalt.
“The reclaimed asphalt has been sourced from local roads, glass from the ACT’s kerbside recycling (yellow bin) system, and some of the soft plastic through the ACT Container Deposit Scheme,” Mr Steel said.
The first trial is being conducted on a roundabout on Gundaroo Drive, with the asphalt designed to be stronger and more resistant to deformation that standard material.
“The roundabout on Gundaroo Drive is a great place to trial this asphalt as it is a heavy traffic area, where vehicles are turning, and therefore putting more pressure on the road surface,” Mr Steel said.
PepsiCo ANZ has partnered with REDcycle to help convert chip packets into furniture, bollards, signage and other sturdy products.
Consumers will be able to drop off chip packets and other soft plastics at participating supermarkets, which will go to REDcycle’s processing partner Replas to turn into fitness circuits, outdoor furniture and bollards.
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These recycled plastic products will be purchased by PepsiCo and donated to parks, public places and schools.
One of PepsiCo’s global Performance with Purpose goals is to achieve zero waste to landfill in direct operations by 2025 through efficient and responsible waste management.
Partnering with REDcycle complements PepsiCo’s strategy to design out waste by minimising the amount of materials used in packaging.
PepsiCo ANZ Environment Manager Janine Cannell said the company is pleased to be working with REDcycle.
“This is a great opportunity for us to recover what would otherwise go to landfill and use the recycled materials to better the communities we operate in,” Ms Cannell said.
REDcycle Director Liz Kasell said the company is delighted to have PepsiCo as REDcycle partners and looks forward to seeing what we can create using recycled materials.
Nestlé has pledged to increase the amount of recycled plastics the company uses in some of its packaging in the European Union by 2025.
The company aims to include 25 to 50 per cent recycled materials in PET layer in laminates, caps on glass jars and tines, trays for meat products and shrink films for display trays.
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It follows Nestlé’s pledge in April to make all of its packaging recyclable or re-useable by 2025.
The announcement is part of the voluntary pledging exercise on recycled content by the European Commission. Nestlé CEO for Zone Europe, Middle East and North Africa Marco Settembri delivered the pledge in person to the European Commission.
Mr Settembri said the company is taking the first concrete steps to achieve its packaging ambitions.
“Nestlé supports the Plastics Strategy of the European Union. We share the vision that no plastic packaging ends up in the environment. Recyclable packaging, good recycling infrastructure and more use of recycled material will help us close the loop,” he said.