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AFGC commends government action on soft plastics recycling

AFGC commends joint action on soft plastics recycling

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has commended the Federal and Victorian governments on their joint action to invest $3 million in important new soft plastics recycling infrastructure in Victoria.

AFGC CEO Tanya Barden said the announcement by federal minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, and Victoria’s minister for environment and climate action, Lily D’Ambrosio, of grant funding to recycler iQ Renew for a new recycling facility in Altona, Victoria, addressed a key requirement for closing the loop on soft plastics and building a circular economy for soft plastic packaging.

The iQ Renew plant will process 30,000 tonnes of soft plastic, keeping valuable resources out of landfill and allowing them to be recycled back into new, food-grade packaging materials.

“This is another important step in the creation of a circular economy for plastics and supporting the growth of a new advanced recycling industry here in Australia,” Barden said.

The AFGC, the peak body for Australia’s food and grocery manufacturing industry, is leading the development of a new recycling scheme for soft plastic packaging.

The National Plastics Recycling Scheme (NPRS) project is creating an industry-supported scheme that will make recycling packaging more effective with expanded kerbside collection.

The project has already encouraged investment in new advanced recycling infrastructure, laying the foundations of a new domestic industry that can recycle soft plastics onshore into new packaging.

“Plastic packaging has an important role keeping food safe and fresh, reducing food waste and keeping products intact,” Barden explained.

“The NPRS project will increase the recycling rates of soft plastic packaging and reduce the amount of virgin plastic used in packaging, helping to meet Australia’s National Packaging Targets.”

The AFGC will soon conduct trials of kerbside collection with several local councils and welcomes the Victorian government’s move to include soft plastics in yellow-lidded recycling bins in coming years.

“This is an example of the collaboration, innovation and investment needed to create an effective and sustainable circular economy for plastic packaging in Australia,” Barden said concluded.

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