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Council leads the way with plastic bag recycling

Published: 26 October 2016

From November Cardinia Shire residents will be able to recycle plastic bags and flexible plastic packaging as part of their fortnightly kerbside waste collection.

Council’s Waste Officer, Melanie Kerr said this exciting new initiative was a big step for kerbside recycling.

“Plastic bags and soft plastic packaging is a big part of the waste going to landfill every year, however recycling technology has now improved, making it easier to recycle into new products. These include decking, park benches, playground equipment, packaging material and containers, and textiles for clothing, toys and furniture.”

“We encourage the whole community to get on board and help make a difference to the environment,” Ms Kerr said.

To help get started, all households will soon be mailed an information pack including 10 bags to bundle flexible packaging. The bags list the items that can and can’t go in and once full should be tied up and placed in the yellow-lidded kerbside recycling bin.

Once all the supplied bags have been used, residents can simply use any plastic supermarket bag to consolidate flexible plastic items into one bag.

“Flexible plastic can be difficult to sort at recycling facilities because it is so light, however by putting the plastic bags in one bag, we overcome this issue,” Ms Kerr said.

To make sure recycling is effectively sorted, only clean bags, free of food residue or other items such as paper receipts, are bundled together. Hard or rigid plastics and other recyclables usually placed in kerbside bins should still be placed loose into the yellow-lid bin.

Cardinia Shire is one of four councils, along with Boroondara, Nillumbik and Hobsons Bay, leading the way in Australia by offering this new service, which has been funded by the Victorian Government's Metropolitan Local Government Waste and Resource Recovery Fund in partnership with SKM Recycling Pty Ltd and the Australian Packaging Covenant.

“We are proud to be leading the way on this environmental initiative. Our residents are already diligent recyclers and this gives us the ability to do even better,” Ms Kerr said.

“Of course, minimising the amount of plastic you use by taking reusable bags shopping is even better than recycling.”

Items that can now be placed in household recycling bins across Cardinia Shire include plastic shopping bags, soft plastic packaging from groceries such as bread, rice, pasta, cereal, toilet paper and frozen food packaging, clean cling wrap and freezer bags and bubble wrap.

Chip, chocolate bar and ice-cream wrappers that have a shiny, silver lining that looks like foil cannot be recycled as part of this service.