Metcash and 7-Eleven first retailers to join Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) welcomes Metcash and 7-Eleven’s participation in the industry-led Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme.

As the first retailers to back this initiative, they contribute to the National Plastics Recycling Scheme (NPRS), a groundbreaking effort to convert challenging-to-recycle soft plastics, bound for landfills, into food-grade packaging and various materials.

The NPRS involves collecting soft plastics from diverse channels, such as kerbside, and addressing gaps in the recycling process, creating a circular economy and a sustainable solution for soft plastics recycling.

7-Eleven and Metcash align with more than 40 brands, including Nestle, Unilever, and Fonterra, committed to establishing a robust circular economy for soft plastics.

AFGC encourages all industries employing soft plastics, including fashion and general merchandise manufacturers and retailers, to contribute to this joint endeavour, supporting the development of the necessary processing infrastructure for a circular economy.

Tanya Barden, AFGC CEO, expressed enthusiasm about Metcash and 7-Eleven’s involvement, emphasising the centrality of collaboration across the packaging and recycling supply chain in advancing a sustainable circular economy for soft plastics in Australia.

“We’re delighted to see Metcash and 7-Eleven joining this exciting industry initiative. Collaboration with all parts of the packaging and recycling supply chain is central to advancing a sustainable circular economy for soft plastics in Australia.”

“But supermarkets and food and grocery suppliers cannot do this alone. This is bigger than any single industry, so we need everybody on board,” Barden said.

The NPRS’s future success is expected to empower participants to confidently produce soft plastic packaging with recycled content for the Australian market. The scheme encourages partnerships throughout the supply chain, involving recyclers, manufacturers, packagers, councils, waste collectors, and retailers.

The AFGC also commended the recent resumption of a return-to-store soft plastics recycling trial in Melbourne by Coles, Woolworths, and Aldi, considering it a crucial step in rebuilding consumer confidence in the system. Recognising the complexity of soft plastics recycling, AFGC stressed the necessity for a large-scale, long-term response from all sectors.

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