Recycle Our Wrap
One of our readers loved the Zero Waste feature in Issue #12, but asked why we wrap some magazines in plastic and whether this plastic could be recycled. Fair question we thought. Sustainability is important to us so we consulted our suppliers and asked Jessica Brosnan, a Zero Waste Enthusiast and TPL contributor for her advice.
TPL: We use a soft plastic wrap to protect the TPL magazines from damage when we mail them to our subscribers. Can this plastic packaging be recycled?
Jess: Yes, it can be recycled through the RED Group (REDcycle) program. REDcycle is a recovery initiative for post-consumer soft plastic, designed so manufacturers, retailers and consumers can share the responsibility in creating a sustainable future.
Incredibly, RED Group have collected enough pieces of post-consumer packaging to circle Australia over three and a half times! That’s over 380 million pieces of plastic that’ll never end up in landfill, on our beaches or in our waterways. REDcycle send this plastic to their partnering company who 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. These products also offer a sustainable alternative to the unnecessary use of virgin materials and provide long-lasting solutions to customers.
For more info on what to REDcycle and where to find drop off locations visit http://www.redcycle.net.au/
TPL: Our mailing house representative confirmed they supply a biodegradable plastic wrap alternative and have spent years making sure that they are true to what the manufacturers state in the claims. What do you think about recycling the biodegradable alternative?
Jess: This is a tricky one. REDcycle won’t accept biodegradable plastics as they start to break down before they can be processed. But then you’ve got to wonder how many people will actually REDcycle the plastic wrap? Would more people REDcycle (and start recycling their own household soft plastics) if they knew how to?
Or, is it best to think people simply wouldn’t REDcycle it and biodegradable wrap is better in landfill (it won’t leach etc) unlike plastic? One thing to note with biodegradable plastic is that it needs oxygen to start the degrading process whereas landfill breaks down anaerobically (without oxygen).
TPL: Thanks Jess, you’ve certainly given us something to think about.
So readers, when you receive your next TPL magazine in the mail, please pop the plastic wrap in your nearest REDcycle bin to give it a second life.
Jess Brosnan is a Naturopath and Zero Waste Enthusiast