In April 2023, Boomerang Alliance supporters in their thousands voiced their concerns about the lack of soft plastic collections following the collapse of the REDcycle scheme. Since then, the Australian Food and Grocery Council has provided more details of recovery via pilots of its evolving National Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme. It involved a few local government areas trialling the collection of soft plastics through household kerbside collection.
Households place soft plastics in a special bag that can be identified at the recycling centre so it can be sorted separately. Soft plastics and plastic film and bags can't be recovered alongside other recyclables like paper or rigid plastic containers.
So far the trial is proving successful and showing that collection at kerbside can work. The emerging scheme also requires the packaging industry to contribute to the cost of collections. This is a key principle that must be adopted under any Product Stewardship scheme.
It's urgent we resolve this as households (even those which were stockpiling) are now disposing of soft plastics in the bin. The Boomerang Alliance is calling for the scheme to be expanded nationally in 2024. This would mean any household that has a kerbside recycling collection service would also be able to discard their soft plastic wastes in their recycling bin using a dedicated bag for this purpose.