THE Medowie ‘Return and Earn’ system has had mixed reviews since its conception, however the facility has been in constant use since its unveiling with hundreds of thousands of cans and bottles being recycled, along with thousands of dollars being earned though these acts of recycling.
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The return and earn system is limited in that many other recyclable materials are simply not included.
Port Stephens Council’s own recycling program is quite extensive, however, not all plastics can be recycled using the yellow bin service.
Even though the gap between the two is quite small, the quantity of product falling through this recycling gap and into landfill is sizeable.
Plastic food packaging and plastic shopping bags cannot be recycled through either the ‘Return and Earn’ initiative nor through Council’s recycling program.
In a development that may surprise many people, Coles Supermarkets have taken steps to fill that recycling gap.
Australia use over four billion single-use plastic shopping bags per year, with only 3% being recycled.
It is estimated that around 200,000 plastic shopping bags are dumped into landfill every hour, taking between 15 to 1000 years to degrade.
It is because of these reasons plastic shopping bags are on their way to being banned by many retail outlets across the country.
However, many food products we purchase are still packaged with soft plastics.
This is where Coles Supermarkets and their REDcycle Program can fill the recycling gap and help ensure less and less waste ends up in landfill.
Biscuit packets, confectionery packets, plastic shopping bags, bread bags, rice and pasta bags, produce bags, frozen food bags and old re-usable bags can all be recycled by the REDcycle Program.
Samantha Goodwin, a Medowie mother who has supported the introduction of the REDcycle program at Coles, told News Of The Area, “Our family is really interested in the recycling programs available to us, and try to follow the recycling scheme to a tee.”
“We need to look after our beautiful town and country.”
With the introduction of the REDcycle Program, there is very little that should end up going into landfill if we all try to “do the right thing” and use the services we have available to us.
Through the ‘Return and Earn’ initiative, Council’s own recycling program and now Coles Supermarket’s REDcycle Program, there isn’t much we can’t recycle.
By Rachael VAUGHAN