In the wake of the suspension of the REDcycle program, a pressing concern in the Australian recycling landscape has come to the fore. The Soft Plastics Taskforce, encompassing major supermarket players like ALDI, Coles, and Woolworths, has recently revealed a Roadmap to Restart – a framework intending to relaunch a soft plastic collection scheme in supermarkets. Yet, these unveiling paints a picture of a recycling landscape in Australia that is severely lagging behind the increasing urgency and scale of the soft plastics issue.
According to a recent media article, the Taskforce aims to launch an in-store collection pilot by late 2023, contingent on the removal of existing soft plastic stockpiles. While this plan illustrates some progress, it also reveals a harsh reality – Australia is racing against the clock when it comes to tackling the growing soft plastic problem.
The existing stockpiles of soft plastic – a towering 5200 tonnes – are a stark representation of the challenge we face. However, they are just the tip of the iceberg. The actual volume of soft plastic waste generated across the country dwarfs these figures, casting a long shadow over our sustainable future. It begs the question: Are our retailers and authorities moving fast enough to address this escalating issue?
The recycling roadmap of the Taskforce brings to light the limitations of our domestic recycling capacity, particularly for “mixed polymer” soft plastics. Australia, as it stands, lacks the infrastructure to handle the sheer volume of soft plastics collected from households. Even if we managed to clear the current stockpiles, it’s a mere band-aid solution to a far more extensive and systemic issue. We need a comprehensive, forward-thinking strategy to keep up with the growing tide of soft plastic waste – and that’s where solutions like Thinkpac’s comes in.
At Thinkpac, we see the urgency, but more importantly, we see the opportunity. We are committed to pushing the boundaries of the circular economy, bringing innovative solutions to the table that can transform the way we handle soft plastics. We recognise the need for speed and efficiency in implementing these solutions, and we’re ready to work tirelessly with retailers and authorities to deliver them.
Our approach goes beyond managing the existing stockpiles. We aim to create a scalable, sustainable solution that can effectively manage the constant inflow of soft plastics from households across Australia. Our innovative solution allows us to repurpose these materials, reducing the need for landfill and creating a more sustainable production cycle.
The Roadmap to Restart is a necessary step, but we must not lose sight of the bigger picture. The task ahead calls for a collaborative approach, a shared commitment, and a shift in mindset towards innovation and sustainability. Major retailers and authorities must be willing to join hands with companies like Thinkpac, who are ready and able to make a significant difference in the circular economy space.
As a nation, we are facing an escalating environmental issue that requires swift and decisive action. Now more than ever, it’s time to change our thinking, embrace innovative circular economy solutions, and tackle this problem head-on. At Thinkpac, we’re more than ready for the challenge, and we’re committed to making a sustainable future for soft plastics a reality. Let’s not just put soft plastics recycling on the roadmap – let’s put it in the fast lane.