Westfield launches beverage recycling initiative

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 26th August 2010

Westfield RecyclingWestfield Shopping Centre today launched a recycling initiative which, once rolled out nationally, is expected to divert 675 tonnes of beverage containers from landfill each year – enough containers to fill nine Olympic sized swimming pools with recyclable material each year.

Parliamentary Secretary to the NSW Minister for Climate Change and the Environment Angela D’Amore MP launched the campaign at Westfield in Burwood, NSW yesterday. She described Westfield’s coordinated recycling service as an Australian first, which would increase opportunities for people to recycle away from home.

“We need to give people the same recycling signals and systems when they are ‘out and about’ as they have at home, and shoppers at many Westfield shopping centres can now recycle cans, PET and glass bottles with ease,” D’Amore said.

Westfield have recently installed new public recycling bins across their other shopping centres in Westfield Bondi Junction, Burwood, Chatswood, Hurstville, Kotara, Penrith, Liverpool, Miranda, Mt Druitt, Parramatta and Tuggerah, aiming to recycle up to 305 tonnes of beverage containers in NSW alone by December 2011.

Nationally, Westfield will install new recycling systems in participating centres by the end of 2010, thanks to a partnership between industry and government through the Australian Packaging Covenant. Funding partners include the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC), Australian Packaging Covenant Industry Association, state governments in the ACT, NSW, QLD, SA, VIC and WA and the Coca-Cola system in Australia.

Alec Wagstaff, Director of Corporate Affairs Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA), said, “CCA is involved with the Westfield program as we recognise everyone – both consumers and manufacturers – have a part to play in the proper recycling and disposal of packaging.”

“The partnership with Westfield and the establishment of recycling bins in shopping centre food courts across Australia enables consumers to place their empty but valuable Coca-Cola, Mt Franklin and other beverage containers in a recycling bin while consumers are out and about. Australians are great recyclers and we are proud to support the Westfield initiative which ensures recyclable material, such as the iconic Coca-Cola bottle is diverted from landfill and recycled into other goods. This program is a great example of industry efforts to generate a better outcome for the environment.”

The launch coincides with Keep Australia Beautiful Week, whose focus this year is on promoting public awareness to change people’s behaviour, encouraging them to recycle when they are away from home.

The week includes beverage container recycling trials at selected Hungry Jack’s stores across the country as well as the 26 Beverage Container Recycling Grants awarded across the country by Keep Australia Beautiful with funding from the Coca-Cola Foundation.

The national Public Place Recycling initiative is aimed at educating and encouraging shoppers in Westfield’s across Australia to help the environment, one can or bottle at a time. Westfield have also established an engaging consumer promotion to accompany the recycling roll out, to demonstrate the environmental impact that recycling even a single PET, glass bottle or aluminium can have on the environment.

Timothy Roberts, Regional General Manager of NSW Westfield, said the program would assist their overarching sustainability program. “We are very proud to announce the installation of our recycling infrastructure from today. Our program will empower our shoppers to recycle and understand that every bottle and can counts.”

Jenny Pickles, AFGC Packaging Stewardship Forum General Manager, said the initiative showed that great things could be achieved through industry-government partnerships.

“This is a great example of the types of proactive programs industry is undertaking to address the issue of packaging product stewardship,” she said.