Coles launches plastic recycling for schools initiative

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 11th December 2012

Recyclable plastic tables and chairs will be making their way into Australian schools through an Australian-first recycling initiative run by Coles and Australian recycling company RED group.

Over the new few weeks the REDcycle program will be rolled out so that Coles’ shoppers can hand plastic bags and soft plastic packaging back in to dedicated in-store bins instead of going into landfill.  RED Group then collects and processes the plastic before sending it to Replas to melt the plastic down, pour it into moulds and make the furniture to be distributed to Australian schools.

After a successful trial in Victoria in late 2011 and 2012, the program will be rolled out in 370 Coles’ city stores across Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.

Coles Store Development and Operations Director Stuart Machin said Coles was delighted to roll out a program that “tackled the long-standing challenge of soft plastics” and was able to “give twice.”

“In little over 12 months in Melbourne alone, Coles’ customers have ensured 9 million plastic packaging items has been diverted from landfill as part of our trial. So by rolling this program out locally and across the nation, the potential benefits are enormous,” he said.

RED Group Director of Development Elizabeth Kasell said the initiative was particularly exciting because it involved consumers, retailers, distributors and manufacturers “all working together for a better end of life outcome for materials that were previously going to landfill.”