What can I recycle via the drop off bins at my local participating store?
We can accept all the following items for recycling via the program:
- Bread, pasta & rice bags
- Cereal box liners
- Biscuit packets (wrapper only)
- Frozen food bags
- Ice cream wrappers
- Squeeze pouches
- Plastic sachets
- Chocolate & snack bar wrappers
- Silver-lined chip & cracker packets
- Confectionery bags
- Fresh produce bags
- Netting citrus bags
- Polypropylene shopping bags
- Plastic film from grocery items such as nappies and toilet paper
- Australia Post satchels
- Newspaper wrap
- Sturdy pet food bags
- Bubble wrap and large sheets of plastic that furniture comes wrapped in (cut into pieces the size of an A3 sheet of paper first)
Where does the collected soft plastic end up?
We bring the collected plastic back to our facility for initial processing then delivered to Australian manufacturer Replas where it undergoes an incredible transformation.
Replas uses the material as the resource to produce a huge range of recycled-plastic products, from fitness circuits to sturdy outdoor furniture, to bollards, signage and more. All products are extremely robust, as well as water and termite resistant. They won’t crack, splinter or rot and will never need painting. Replas products are perfect for use in schools, park, public spaces and commercial premises.
Where’s my nearest participating store?
You can find your nearest participating supermarket by using our Store Locator
Why isn’t the program available in my area?
The REDcycle Program is a work in progress. Having launched in 115 stores Melbourne in 2011, we’ve now expanded to more than 630 collection points around the country.
We have participating supermarkets in every capital city except Darwin, as well as Queensland’s Gold Coast, NSW’s Central Coast and South Coast, Central Victoria, Geelong and the Mornington Peninsula.
Although we receive requests daily from recycling enthusiasts, we need to be measured in our approach to expansion to ensure the program can continue to thrive. So while we might appear to be agonisingly slow to respond to your request for a collection point in your area, you can be confident that we are working on it behind the scenes.
In the meantime, you may be interested in knowing that we offer a post-in service. Anyone who can’t get to a participating supermarket can post their plastic to:
38 Chelmsford Street
Is your post-in service a free-post service?
No, it’s not. We’d love to be able to have a free-post service but it is not something we can offer at this time. Regardless of how the plastic arrives in our facility – via our collection trucks or via Australia Post – we still need to allocate resources to processing it before we deliver it to Replas.
Can my business join the program as a collection point?
We’re currently partnering only with selected Coles and Woolworths supermarkets.
That’s because when we developed the program, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for all consumers to participate in. With the majority of Australians concentrated in capital cities where they have easy access to a local supermarket – a place most people already visit at least once a week – it made sense to focus our energies on this collection method.
For logistical reasons, we’re not set up to offer collection services to businesses or other organisations.
We currently have 630 REDcycle supermarket drop off points in Australia and we encourage everyone to utilise our existing network.
Why can’t I put my plastic bags and packaging in my kerbside recycling bin?
The vast majority of councils can’t accept soft plastic for recycling via their kerbside collection because soft plastic jams the automated sorting machines at the Materials Recovery Facility. That’s why most councils advise their residents to dispose of this material in their landfill bin.
How much soft plastic has the REDcycle Program collected since it launched?
Since the launch of the REDcycle Program in 2011, RED Group has collected enough pieces of soft post-consumer packaging to circle Australia two and a half times*. That’s more than 200 million pieces of plastic that will never end up in landfill, on our beaches or in our waterways.
*Assuming an average size of 25cm per item, we’ve collected approximately 70,000,000 metres of plastic packaging laid end to end. The coastline of Australia is 25,760,000 metres.
Do I need to wash out my plastic packaging before recycling it?
No. While we normally like to say that all packaging returned for recycling via our drop off bins should be ‘empty and dry’, our recycling processes can tolerate a limited amount of contamination.
Do I need to peel off small paper labels before I place my cling wrap or courier satchel in the drop off bin?
Not if it’s only a small paper label. A little paper doesn’t affect the recycling processes at all. If the label is bigger than A5 size, please do peel or cut it off.
Do I need to cut off the rigid plastic spout and lid from my squeeze pouch before I place it in the drop off bin?
No, there’s no need to cut these off. Our processes can handle a small quantity of this rigid plastic material, incorporating them into the mix with the soft plastics. In fact, it’s actually easier for us to handle squeeze pouches if you pop the lid back on – the lids prevents any residual yoghurt or baby food squirting out!
Can I recycle silver-lined chip packets via the program?
Yes, the thin foil-like plastic sleeves and packets that some biscuits, chocolate bars, crackers and chips come in are fine to be recycled via the drop off bin at your closest participating supermarket.
Can I recycle bubble wrap via the program?
Sure, we love bubble wrap. (Who doesn’t love bubble wrap?) If you have large pieces of bubble wrap, please cut them into smaller pieces about the size of an A3 sheet of paper. Large sheets are too bulky to be placed in the bins as they are.
Do I need to deposit my plastic bags and packaging loose in the bin when I drop them off?
No, it’s fine to bundle up all your unwanted single use shopping bags and packaging in another bag and tie it up, before placing in a REDcycle Program drop off bin. We don’t need them to be placed in our bins loose – like your council’s rigid plastic kerbside recycling needs to be. This is because our sorting processes are quite different to the automated processes used by Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs).
Can I recycle plastic bags from other retailer via the program?
Absolutely. We accept other stores’ carrier bags and all forms of soft plastic packaging from all brands.
Can I recycle the plastic tray from my biscuit packet via the program?
No, when it comes to biscuit packaging, it’s only the soft plastic wrapper that we can accept for recycling. The tray that the biscuits sit in is classified as rigid and should therefore be disposed of with the rest of your rigid recycling in your council’s kerbside collection*.
*Varies from council to council. Check locally.
Can I recycle drinking straws via the program?
No, our program is for soft ‘scrunchable’ plastics only. Unfortunately, drinking straws aren’t recyclable in Australia. They can only be disposed of via your garbage bin.
Can I recycle the degradable, bio degradable or compostable bags via the program?
No, we can’t accept degradable, compostable, or bio degradable bags. Bags that are labelled degradable or compostable have been specifically manufactured to break down in the general waste stream. We can’t use them for recycling because they start to degrade before they’re processed.
Can I recycle spongy sheets of protective wrap via the program?
No, these are usually made from polystyrene which we can’t work with as it doesn’t shred properly. The same applies to the polystyrene ‘peanuts’ that come in delivery boxes.
If I want to recycle my old polypropylene shopping bags, do I need to remove the rigid plastic base first?
No, you can leave the rigid plastic base inside as it’s made of high density polyethylene which is also fully recyclable via the program.
Are any toxic fumes created during the recycling process?
No, there are no harmful fumes produced at all. That’s because our manufacturing partner Replas uses only polyolefin polymers (plastics 2, 4 & 5) in the manufacturing process.
Polyolefin polymers are non-aromatic and non-carcinogenic, and don’t contain the nasty chemicals that some polymers, such as PVC, contain. When they are heated or burnt, the fumes are quite safe to breathe.