Soft Plastics Taskforce supports industry-led recycling scheme as the way ahead for Australia

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) welcomes the Soft Plastics Taskforce’s recognition of the industry-led National Plastics Recycling Scheme (NPRS) as the model for the future of soft plastic packaging recycling in Australia. 

AFGC CEO Tanya Barden congratulated the Soft Plastics Taskforce, comprising major supermarkets Coles, Woolworths and Aldi, for setting out the Roadmap for restoring soft plastics recycling. Return-to-store collection will be reintroduced as a transitional solution and the Taskforce supports the NPRS as a model for a sustainable, long-term solution to divert more plastic packaging from landfill. 

AFGC CEO Tanya Barden said the Taskforce Roadmap has highlighted the importance of increasing Australia’s soft plastics recycling capacity and developing end markets for recycled packaging content. The effects of limited markets for recycled soft plastics were made clear with the collapse of REDcycle – which collected less than five per cent of consumer soft plastics. 

“The AFGC agrees that there is a crucial opportunity now to rethink the model for soft plastics recycling in Australia,” Ms Barden said. 

The NPRS is being developed by the AFGC with funding support from the federal government and leading food and grocery manufacturers, and is now undergoing trials in Victoria, NSW and South Australia. 

“The NPRS is a whole-of-supply chain plan that makes soft plastic recycling easy for consumers with kerbside collection. It has also stimulated commitments to invest in new advanced recycling infrastructure here in Australia,” Ms Barden said. 

“Manufacturers, local councils, waste collectors and processors, advanced recyclers and plastics manufacturers are united in this plan for sustainable soft plastics recycling. 

“Australia’s food and grocery manufacturers are committed to growing Australia’s recycling and circular economy infrastructure. The model for a soft plastics solution exists.” 

Learn more about the National Plastics Recycling Scheme >>