The Pause in Soft Plastics Recycling Has Exposed Deeper Problems Within the Industry, Say Experts

Earlier this year, popular soft plastics recycling program REDcycle announced that their program would be suspended indefinitely. The announcement came as a result of a report that soft plastic items were being stored in a warehouse rather than being recycled – further investigations revealed that the recycling company had been stockpiling this waste since 2018. As a leader in waste management services, Melbourne-based Waste Sense explains that this revelation has shone a light on the deep problems that exist in the packaging industry.
Single-use soft plastics are extremely prominent in Australian consumers’ everyday lives. Dog waste collection bags, bin liners, food packaging, bottle labels, stickers and more are used every single day by Australian households. At present, there are very few – if any – realistic, reliable alternatives to these items. Although REDcycle was, for a time, providing an alternative to these plastics ending up in a landfill, soft plastics are notoriously difficult to recycle and reuse, and traditional recycling methods aren’t applicable to soft plastics.
Experts from Waste Sense advise consumers who want to see change to put pressure on those in power to opt for more sustainable options. Consumers can ask their local supermarkets to source products that aren’t laden with single-use soft plastics or request that their councils switch to biodegradable soft plastics. 
Waste Sense acknowledges that while the onus isn’t on the consumer to solve large-scale recycling and packaging issues, there are certainly steps that they can take as individuals or households to pressure the supply chain to reduce landfill waste and fix the problem.
As a leading provider of waste management Melbourne-wide, Waste Sense helps businesses make sense of their waste needs and sources solutions of all sizes. To learn more, visit Waste Sense online today.
Source: Waste Sense