Today’s release by Coles, Woolworths and Aldi of a soft plastics "Roadmap to Restart" is an admission of failure over the last 5 years and does not inspire confidence the problem will be solved.
It presents as if they had only discovered there’s a problem with plastic recycling, when in fact the industry had a clear picture of the challenges with a Soft Plastics Working Group in 2018 under the auspices of the Australian Packaging Covenant. Now they can't even restart collections at the end of the year at the scale of the small REDcycle scheme.
So now we start again with some thought bubbles and the significant risk that the 2025 targets of 70% recycling, won't be met. Notably there is no firm commitment by the supermarkets to use collected plastics as recycled content.
We don't think the community trusts the supermarkets and packaging sector to get it right on their own. It's absolutely vital that government regulates the sector to lock in the targets; broadscale collection systems for households; funding by producers and big retailers; and recycled content or less plastic or other alternative materials, in new packaging.
Boomerang Alliance's 3-year Plan should be taken up now before we allow the industry to waste any more time.