Nestlé and recycling company iQ Renew today announced a trial which aims to see soft plastics collected from over 100,000 homes in Australia through kerbside recycling and diverted from landfill.
With increasing consumer demand for improved recycling, the trial aims to find a broadly applicable way to collect, sort and process soft plastics.
iQ Renew CEO Danial Gallagher said soft plastics not only make up 20% of the volume of Australian household landfill bins but are also frequently found incorrectly placed in recycling bins: "We’ve designed the trial so that at the front end, it will support householders to pre-sort their soft plastic and get it into a recycling stream, while behind the scenes, we’ll test using the sorted soft plastic as a resource in a range of different manufacturing processes."
Nestlé Australia CEO Sandra Martinez said the company wanted to find sustainable paths to recycle packaging: "While we are working to make all our packaging recyclable, we know that soft plastics is an area that needs greater focus and collaboration. We need to find ways to drive more recycling here. Given the low amount of soft plastic collected from consumers today, we hope this trial can unlock the significant potential for soft plastic packaging to become a resource."
The project will commence with a pilot of 2,000 households, then plans to expand to over 100,000 households later in the year, processing around 750 tonnes of soft plastic that would otherwise be sent to landfill. Locations for the trial are currently under consideration.