NZ AU FAQs – Redcycle

FAQs

Questions about materials

What can be recycled via the REDcycle Program?

Check out What to REDcycle for a comprehensive list of all items that can be recycled via the REDcycle Program.

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 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 REDcycle.

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 biscuit trays are classified as rigid plastic and should be disposed of in your council’s kerbside collection. As this varies between councils, please check with your council.

Can I recycle bubble wrap via the program?

Sure, we love bubble wrap. If you have large pieces of bubble wrap, please cut them into A3 size. Large sheets are too bulky to be placed in the bins.

Can I recycle coffee packets via the program?

No. Coffee bags are typically plastic-lined foil bags (ie majority foil) and therefore are contaminant.

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.

If I want to recycle my old polypropylene 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.

Preparing to drop off your soft plastics

Do I need to wash out my plastic packaging before recycling it?

No. Packaging materials should be ‘empty and dry’ but our recycling processes can tolerate a limited amount of contamination (such as a few crumbs or a bit of dried gravy). Please ensure your plastics are dry as wet plastic creates a mould problem for us.

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 shopping bags and packaging in a bag before placing in a REDcycle drop off bin. We don't need them to be placed in our bins loose - like your council's kerbside recycling needs to be.

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. Please recycle with the lids on to prevent any residual yoghurt or baby food squirting out!

Where’s my nearest REDcycle drop off point?

Check out Where to REDcycle

to find the drop off point nearest to you.

What do the REDcycle bins look like?

There are a few different types of REDcycle bins. REDcycle drop off bins are typically located near the checkout. If you have trouble finding it, please ask the supermarket’s customer service desk.

Questions about drop off points and participating businesses

Why isn’t the program available in my area?

Although we receive requests daily from REDcycle enthusiasts, we are measured in our approach to expansion to ensure the program can continue to thrive. While we might appear to be 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.

Is there a post-in service?

Anyone who can't get to a REDcycle drop off point can post soft plastics to:

RED Group
38 Chelmsford Street
Williamstown North
VIC 3016.

Is your post-in service a free post service?

No, unfortunately 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.

Can my business join the program as a collection point?

At present, the RED Group is not set up to offer collection services to businesses or other organisations due to logistical reasons. We encourage everyone to utilise our existing network. When the REDcycle Program was developed, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for all consumers to participate. We’re currently partnering with selected Coles and Woolworths supermarkets. 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.

Can we have a REDcycle drop-off bin at our school?

At present, the RED Group is not set up to offer collection services to schools, day care centres or other businesses due to logistical reasons. We encourage everyone to utilise our existing network.

Please see Schools and the REDcycle Program for information on running a soft plastic recycling scheme at your school.

Questions about the program

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.

How much soft plastic has the REDcycle Program collected since it launched?
  • RED Group has collected enough pieces of soft post-consumer packaging to circle Australia two and a half times*.
  • That's over 263 million pieces of plastic that'll never end up in landfill, on our beaches or in our waterways.
  • With a total weight of over 1054 tonnes, that's equivalent to 264 elephants (weighing 4 tonnes each).

*(Assuming an average size of 25cm per item, we've collected approximately 66 million metres of plastic packaging laid end to end. The coastline of Australia is 25,760,000 metres.)

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.

Why can’t I put my plastic bags and packaging in my kerbside recycling bin?

The 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.

How can I purchase recycled plastic products?

Recycled plastic furniture from Replas can be purchased at any time. View the vast product range at www.replas.com.au