Supermarkets first step on soft plastics journey?

The commitment by Coles and Woolworths to manage the REDcycle soft plastic stockpile is hopefully, the start of a journey to recycling the vast bulk of Australia’s 440,000tonnes of the material, the Boomerang Alliance said today.

After the REDcycle collapse and with the imminent failure to meet national packaging targets, it appears to us that the packaging sector is in danger of losing its social licence to operate. The entire product chain needs to be involved and we urge the industry and federal and state governments to embrace a product stewardship scheme that delivers a circular economy solution.

Australia's packaging targets must be met by the agreed date of 2025. Boomerang Alliance has set out a regulatory three-year plan, funded by industry, that gets action on:

  • redesign of packaging, including reducing plastic and using alternative materials;
  • a collection system available to all households based on special kerbside collections and safe storage;
  • new sorting technology at receiving facilities; and
  • importantly, commitments to use the material as recycled content in new packaging and other products,’’

Recent orders by the NSW EPA on the supermarkets have also been most helpful in getting them to act on this first step and is a good example of how a government agency can be a green defender.


Download the Boomerang Alliance Soft Plastics Plan