City sets up new local soft plastic collection points following pause of REDcycle

From January 1, 2023 the City of Greater Bendigo will provide free soft plastic drop off points at the Strathfieldsaye, Goornong and Heathcote Transfer Stations and at the Eaglehawk Recycle Shop at the front of the landfill following the recent pausing of the REDcycle soft plastics initiative at local supermarkets.

The new collection points will accept the same soft plastics that were accepted under the REDcycle scheme. The easy way to tell if plastic is soft or hard is the scrunch test. If it scrunches into a ball it’s soft, if it holds its shape it's hard.

City of Greater Bendigo Resource Recovery and Education Manager Brooke Pearce said all soft plastics collected at the new drop off points will be bailed by the City and collected by sustainable solutions partner Close the Loop.

“The City is also committed to buying the recycled product back for use in its regional road projects,” Ms Pearce said.

“Close the Loop will recycle the material at the completion of their new processing line, where it will be turned into an award-winning product called TonerPlas® - an asphalt additive used in road building that is manufactured in Melbourne.

The City is committed to using the product in our roads, in order to create demand for the recycled soft plastics product, as the lack of purchasing of products made from our recycling is a major limiting factor of successful recycling outcomes.

“TonerPlas® is a high-performance asphalt additive that helps roads last longer and require less maintenance than traditional asphalt.  It is designed to melt into, extend and modify the bituminous binder in asphalt and improving the mechanical properties of the product, leading to improved durability and lower carbon footprint over the lifecycle of the road.

“In Australia alone, more than 300,000 tonnes of soft plastic is dumped into landfills every year. Not only is this bad for the environment, it is a massive waste of valuable resources that can be re-used and re-purposed into high performance products like “TonerPlas®.

“We are excited that Close the Loop have partnered with the City to recycle the soft plastics we collect at the new drop off points and we look forward to furthering our circular economy efforts by purchasing back TonerPlas® for use in our local roads.

“The City will continue to look at further opportunities for more soft plastics disposal points across the municipality in 2023.”

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