In Australia, only 300,000 tonnes of plastic waste is collected for recycling each year, according to the Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association of Australia. About 50 percent of the waste is sent overseas for processing and roughly 20 percent is reprocessed into pellets to be made into new products to also be sent overseas.
In an effort to ramp up plastic recycling efforts in Australia, Replas, RED Group and Range International are developing unique ways to recycle and reuse plastic waste. Replas and RED Group are working together to collect and process soft plastic packaging, and Range International is recovering unsorted mixed plastic waste from Indonesian landfill.
The Guardian has more details:
There’s no escaping plastic in modern life. In Australia, more than 1.5m tonnes of the crude oil derivative is consumed each year, not including plastics imported in finished products or their packaging. And most of this ends up on a centuries-long path to degradation in landfill or the world’s waterways and oceans. One recent sobering analysis has estimated that by 2050, the weight of plastics in the oceans will match that of fish.
Reducing consumption by avoiding the use of disposable plastic shopping bags, for instance, and reusing plastic containers are important waste-reduction measures. But what role does recycling play?
Despite our profligate consumption of plastic goods, only 300,000 tonnes of the stuff is collected for recycling each year in Australia, according to the Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association of Australia. Around half of this is sent overseas for processing and a further 20% of the plastics reprocessed into pellets to be made into new products is also sent overseas.