The sudden pause on REDcycle collections in supermarkets this week, during National Recycling Week, is a sad dose of reality. Popular among communities and keen recyclers, it is clear that this is not sufficient for success in Australia.
The fact is Australia’s plastics consumption, use, reuse and recycling faces massive challenges. Plastics are barely recycled (about 13 per cent), hardly circular or sustainable, and the recent federal bans that prohibit export of all unclean and unprocessed plastic mean it is literally landlocked.
To prevent more economic pain, landfilling of plastics, business closures and public scepticism, incisive systematic changes are required in Australia – and we all have a role to play in that transformation.