Roadmap to restart soft plastic recycling released – Australia

Roadmap to restart soft plastic recycling released – Australia

Posted on March 8, 2023 by DrRossH in Plastic Recycling


soft plastic roadmap

The Soft Plastics Taskforce has released a Roadmap to Restart, outlining the steps needed to launch a new supermarket soft plastic collection scheme, and the current state of play in the Australian recycling industry.

The Taskforce, made up of major supermarket retailers ALDI, Coles and Woolworths, has been tasked with developing an interim solution to restore community access to soft plastic recycling following the suspension of the REDcycle program.

Under the current plan, an initial in-store collection pilot is anticipated to launch in select stores in late 2023 – provided that REDcycle’s existing soft plastic stockpiles can be cleared prior. The new program would then be gradually rolled out nationwide next year.

While the Taskforce is working to launch in-store collections urgently, it is constrained by Australia’s limited access to domestic soft plastic recycling which can manage the “mixed polymer” soft plastics that are deposited by the public in supermarket collection bins.

At present, it would not be possible to recycle the volume of household soft plastics collected in a supermarket program using domestic infrastructure. Accordingly, the Taskforce has plotted out the projected gradual increase in Australian soft plastic recycling capacity over the next year, as new operators launch, and existing processors expand.