Nestlé and IQ Renew to recycle soft plastics

Australia’s largest food manufacturer, Nestlé and recycler iQ Renew are to trial the collection and recycling of soft plastics into a resource.

The two announced the trial which will collect soft plastics from over 100,000 homes through kerbside recycling an a National Plastics Summit in Parliament House, Canberra.

iQ Renew CEO Danial Gallagher said there is an opportunity in turning soft plastic which make up 20 per cent of the volume of Australian household landfill bins from a waste to a resource.

Gallagher said: “Most Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) can’t separate soft plastic from other items in household recycling, so while soft plastic can be recycled, what we lack is a robust, scalable system to collect and process it using existing kerbside collection.

“We have 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 will 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.

Martinez said: “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.”

Nestlé is working to reduce its use of virgin plastic and increase the amount of food grade recycled plastic it uses.

“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 begin 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.

Image: Nestlé

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