REDcycle racks up more than $5m in debt

REDcycle has reportedly collapsed with debts of more than $5 million to creditors, with a Sydney Morning Herald report mentioning that recently released REDcycle financial records show that this debt was inclusive of payments to staff and the Tax Office.

Documents filed in the liquidation of REDcycle showed that the company owed $411,000 in unpaid taxes and more than $62,000 in entitlements to former employees. iQRenew, which merged with REDcycle in 2021, is owed $1.6 million.

According to the report, this debt was incurred despite the company earning more than $20 million in fees from the decade-old program.

More than 30 stockpiles of soft plastics across NSW, Victoria and south Australia was taken control of by Australian supermarkets when REDcycle wound up in February.

Since then, the Soft Plastics Taskforce, comprised of major supermarkets, was created with the organisation announcing its plans for the model of soft packaging recycling in Australia.

However, since the handover to the supermarkets, at least 44 stockpiles of plastic have been located for the first time in Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia.

“To date, we have identified a total of 44 sites where REDcycle had been stockpiling soft plastics without our knowledge,” a spokeswoman for Coles and Woolworths told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“We have contacted the operators of every site to develop an action plan to ensure this material is stored safely.

“With new information continuing to come in, we’re navigating a complex range of sites and challenges, and we know this process will take time.”

The report also said the total weight of REDcycle’s stockpiled plastics is 1400 tonnes lower than initially estimated – 11,000 tonnes rather than the original 12,400 tonnes. The figure was revised down – even after the discovery of the 14 new sites – when detailed site inspections were conducted.

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