Recycling soft plastics
Lizzie Welborn is a Blue Dinosaur ambassador, Professional Ironwoman & passionate environmental advocate.
These days everyone is pretty aware of how harmful plastic is on our environment. I am extremely passionate about protecting our oceans from the harms of plastic pollution and love being able to enlighten people on how serious this issue is, as well as educating on easy lifestyle changes they can make to reduce their plastic footprint. Soft plastics are one of the most common plastics used in everyday life; plastic wrappers, plastic bags, bubble wrap, glad wrap, plastic film, the list goes on and on. Soft plastics are one of the more difficult items to recycle as they are not catered for by councils which leaves it up to the individual. Unfortunately, this means there is less mainstream education and most soft plastics are not disposed of correctly, ending up in landfill or worse.
"I have set myself the life goal of trying to reduce how much plastic I use but there are still certain situations where soft plastic is very hard to avoid; for example, my favourite healthy snacks".
I have loved being able to work with Blue Dinosaur Bars over the past few years. I definitely would not be where I am today in my athletic career without their support. It has also been inspiring to watch the Blue Dinosaur Brand evolve. They are constantly finding new ways to make sure their bars are good for us and the planet. The Blue Dinosaur Team are aware that their bars come in plastic and that this is an environmental concern for them. One of their latest initiatives is to introduce new packaging which can be composted at home. How cool is that!! This exciting project is coming soon. Even though soft plastic cannot be put in the recycling bin, there are still ways it can be recycled. So until compostable packaging takes over the world (fingers crossed), I want to share how you can recycle your Blue Dinosaur Bar wrappers instead of throwing them into landfill (and it is actually very easy!).
Create a soft plastics bin at home.
I have a small container sitting under the sink in my kitchen where I put any plastic food wrappers I have used. I then have a larger bin I can transfer these to when it gets full. It is important to make sure that these plastics are relatively clean otherwise they cannot be recycled. For example, if I have bought frozen curry in plastic, after I empty the curry into a pot I will wash the plastic and leave it to dry before I put it in my soft plastics bin.
Find your nearest Soft Plastics recycling depot.
Once your soft plastics bin is full, find a place you can take it to be recycled. Most Woolworths and Coles Supermarkets have Redcycle bins where you can dispose of your soft plastics. Redcycle convert these materials to outdoor furniture. You can learn more here:https://www.redcycle.net.au/what-to-redcycle/. Many councils also have recycling centers where you can take a range of materials to be repurposed, including soft plastics. I live in Maroubra, so take my soft plastics to the Randwick Recycling center. Another example is the Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre, which you can use if you live on the Northern Beaches.
In all honesty, it is frustrating that we have to do this in order to recycle soft plastics. I wish there was an easier way we could do it from home, such as mixing it with our other recyclable items. I believe there will be easier ways to dispose of soft plastic in the future, but for now this is the best option and it is totally worth it if it means we can help protect our precious environment. Small actions make a big difference when we all do them together, so let’s start recycling our soft plastics!
Find Lizzie on Instagram here