I went to my children’s school last week and I learnt something new: you can recycle soft plastics. Wow – how did I not know this? And….what is soft plastic I hear you ask? Soft plastics are supermarket shopping bags, fruit and vege bags, pasta and rice packets, bread bags, glad wrap – all items that used to go into my bin, sadly destined for landfill. Now these items can be recycled into children’s play equipment, park benches, bike paths and much more!
Did you know that Australians dump 7,150 recyclable plastic bags into landfills every minute or 429,000 bags every hour? *Clean Up Australia
The Red Group have partnered with Coles and local councils and governement, to collect and recycle soft plastics. There are over 470 collection points in Australia. From here, the bulk plastics are sent to recycled plastics company Replas, who turn these bags into useful things such as bollards, fencing, decking, fitness equipment, play equipment and more! Check out their full range here, there are over 200 products.
This Australian based education initiative and recycling solution for plastic bags hopes to literally change the waste landscape.
“We do not believe it is enough to say that something is “recyclable” or even that is has been “recycled”. What makes us different is our practical solutions for the most difficult (and common) types of waste, such as plastic bags. Not only do these solutions exist, they are many based here in Australia and can directly benefit Australian schools and communities.” states the Red Group website.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe we should ban the plastic bag altogether. A plastic bag free Australia would be awesome. Plastic is wasteful and distasterous for the environment. The very best option is to refuse (or reduce) plastic in the first place. But for all unavoidable plastic packaging, this is a great solution compared to disposal in landfill or transported offshore.
So what are you waiting for? Start collecting and recycling your soft plastics, talk to your children about what you are doing, and why you are doing it, and join Red Group’s soft plastic recycling revolution!
Tell me some of your favourite and creative ways you recycle…..
Here is a park bench made from 8,250 plastic bags:
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