What The HEC | Tips on Soft Plastics Recycling

Understanding what to do with your plastics can often be a confusing and draining task, with many websites providing misinformation. Soft plastics, in particular, can be especially perplexing. Given their widespread use in our daily lives, it’s crucial to understand how to properly recycle them to best reduce our environmental impact.

Soft plastics are notoriously difficult to recycle due to their fluid nature, getting caught in the teeth of many hard plastics recycling machinery, and causing contamination issues with paper recycling. Additionally, the demand for recycled soft plastics is far lower than that of recycled hard plastics. Currently, there is no scheme in place for the recycling of soft plastics however since the collapse of Government supermarket soft-plastics recycling scheme, REDcycle, a new initiative is being tested in some supermarkets in Melbourne as of February 2024. The new scheme plans to start smaller and build up more gradually as the REDcycle scheme collapsed due to bottlenecking issues associated with too much soft plastic. Hopefully, this new scheme will stick, and we will be seeing it in our stores in Adelaide shortly.

Until then, minimise your soft plastic consumption through the use of items such as fabric vegetable bags, beeswax wraps, and reusable containers. Additionally, ensure you are keeping your soft plastics out of your recycling bins.

Most East Waste councils send their recycling from household bins to CAWRA (a MRF, or Material Recovery Facility). Here is an informative video  if you want to watch the process or share it with friends and family. A nice easy but very simplified recycling guide is also available from Planet Ark here for further information.

Tips on Soft Plastics Recycling

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