Today, Australia was shaken by the announcement of the suspension of the REDcycle program – which oversaw the recycling of soft plastics nationwide, with drop-off points at Coles and Woolworths supermarkets.
The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia have issued the following statement in regards to the news about REDcycle.
WMRR and the waste and resource recovery industry are deeply saddened by the news that Redcycle has had to cease operating. We are particularly saddened by the personal impact that this must be having on Liz Kasell.
The reality is that Liz saw clearly that something needed to be done to address the challenge of soft plastics. She made this her personal cause and put all of herself into this challenge for the benefit of the planet and the environment.
However, the truth is that soft plastics are not Liz’s problem to solve. It is all of ours. The only way that the challenge of soft plastics will be solved is to avoid them or for those that make them, to take them!
The manufacturers that utilise soft plastics in food packaging are the ones that need to buy it back. The commercial reality is that the only way we will overcome the lack of processing capacity in Australia is for the generators that use the material to require this material back, to invest directly in facilities that will accept and remanufacture it and then use it again and again.
Australia really needs to stop wish cycling.
We really need to stop focusing simply on collecting material and start focusing on creating demand for these materials. We operate in a complex system that does not stop at the bin, we need the whole value chain to create demand and participate in solving.
The positive of this is that we saw the Environment Ministers Meeting on 21 October 2022 resolve to work with the private sector to design out waste and pollution, keep materials in use and foster markets to achieve a circular economy by 2030- we look forward to working with them closely and quickly to make this a reality.
Gayle Sloan, CEO
You can read the statement here.