Storing soft plastics under the sink will become a thing of the past for millions of Aussies with a major shake-up announced for at home recycling.
As part of a $515 million reform of the recycling system in Victoria, all residents will be given a brand new wheelie bin.
The purple-lidded rubbish bin, designated for glass, will sit alongside its red, green and yellow counterparts outside every home in the state by 2030.
Also by 2030 soft plastics, wrappers and soiled food containers will be able to go into yellow recycling bins, saving a trip to the grocery store to drop off waste.
“Victoria’s move to standardise the bin system will help consumers make better decisions at the bin and reduce contamination too,” Australian Council of Recycling CEO Suzanne Toumbourou told Yahoo News Australia.
“Householders have a really meaningful role to play, and they will be further motivated to play that role as they see really great recycling roles being delivered by our sector.”
Ride the ‘wheelie bin rainbow’
The four bin system will help the government reach its target of diverting up to 80 per cent of waste by 2030, along with the roll-out of the container deposit scheme and February’s ban on single use plastics.
Meanwhile the new purple is already proving popular with Victorians. Seven councils have already distributed the purple bin and introduced the four-bin system.
“Omg this is amazing,” one fan wrote online.
“This will make our lives so much easier,” another added.
“C’mon rainbow wheelie bins,” someone else said.
“FINALLY!” another simply wrote.
More work needed into the recycling of soft plastics
While the government is confident that residents will be able to throw out their soft plastics into the yellow bin by 2030, Ms Toumbourou says careful planning is needed.
“I think there's a journey there to be taken to ensure that we're finding that really good balance of strong end markets, and of ensuring that we have the right infrastructure to sort that material,” she said.
“More work needs to be done to navigate whether and how that can be done, and if it is done, it won't be just chucking a handful of soft plastics in the bin.
“I think there'll be a special collection method like maybe bagging it in a separate way.
Purple bins already out in force in NSW
Purple bins are already in circulation in one NSW council.
As part of the Sutherland Shire Return and Earn Purple Bin Service, residents pay a one-off $80 fee to have a bin dropped off to recycle their cans and bottles.
For every container they recycle, they receive a 10 cent refund.
Since the service's launch in 2020, it now processes up to 160,000 containers a day.
This equates to saving up to 100 cubic metres of rubbish from landfill each day.
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