Reduce, reuse, recycle and now introducing: REDcycle.

Rolling out in participating supermarkets throughout the nation, the REDcycle Program is the newest waste management initiative everyone’s raving about.

Part of RED Group, REDcycle is a Melbourne based consulting and recycling organisation that created a new step in the waste hierarchy. Conveniently located at major supermarkets across Australia, the in store, red bins, are the newest recycling channel for soft plastics that aren’t permitted in a standard local kerbside-recycling bin.

Collecting everything from biscuit packets, bread bags, bubble wrap, cereal box liners, fruit and vegetable netting, lolly wrappers, frozen food bags, newspaper and magazine wrap, Australia Post satchels and even zip-lock bags – REDcycle turns these soft plastics into products that are perfect for schools, public spaces and even commercial premises.

Alarmingly, National Geographic outlined that currently, more than 40% of all plastic is used once, then discarded. Pairing that with the 3.92 billion plastic bags being used each year and the minimal amount being recycled (Australian Ethical), this is definitely a cocktail of catastrophe.

Sadly, non-recyclable soft plastics can take up to 1000 years to decompose – outliving majority of your family’s future generations to come. Thankfully, the soft plastic recycling scheme ties in perfectly with this material that’s polluting our ocean ways, landfill, nature and the mouths of many animals.

Collaborating with Replas, the REDcycle program turns your cellophane, plastic bags, squeezable pouches, plastic sachets and even those large plastic sheets from new furniture into decking, fencing, signage, garden products and even furniture – all of which have since proven to be extremely resistant to weather and termites. Additionally, in 2018 RED Group partnered with Downer Group and Close the Loop, enabling processed REDcycle plastic to be utilised as an additive to “reconophalt” – a plastic modified bitumen for Australian municipal roads.

So far, RED Group has collected enough pieces of soft post-consumer packaging to circle the world over three times. With an estimation of over 540 million pieces of plastic and a total weight of 2150 tonnes, there’s no denying that contributors to the REDcycle program should be thrilled knowing that this astronomical amount has been saved from ending up in landfill or our waterways.

Now found in every Woolworths and Coles stores, on average, REDcycle recovers 4.3 million pieces of soft plastic every week.

According to Avfall Sverige, ‘in Sweden, more than 99 percent of all household waste is recycled in one way or another.’

Pairing the program with the Australasian Recycling Label, hopefully Australian consumers will have a better insight to their carbon footprint sourced from their purchased products – furthermore creating a more sustainable and environmentally conscious mind frame. If choosing eco-friendly products aren’t an option, REDcycle creates a sensible, safe and environmentally friendly disposal method.

With 70% of Hunter and Bligh readers agreeing that recycling is very important in their household – there’s no doubt that Australians want to recycle and furthermore decrease landfill waste.

Upon your next grocery shop, keep an eye out for the REDcycle bin to place your collected soft plastics in.

For more information on your nearest collection point and a full list of all accepted soft plastics visit REDcycle.