Convenience retailer 7-Eleven and Metcash, a wholesale distribution and marketing company, have joined the National Plastics Recycling Scheme (NPRS), an industry-led initiative to recycle soft plastics in Australia. 

These are claimed to have become the first retailers in the country to formally back the scheme, which aims to repurpose hard-to-recycle soft plastics that would otherwise end up in landfills, into food-grade packaging and other materials. 

The NPRS seeks to establish a circular economy by collecting household soft plastics through various channels, including kerbside collection.  

The scheme also aims to address gaps in the recycling process, striving for a sustainable, long-term solution to soft plastic waste. 

The two retailers join more than 40 brands, including Nestlé, Unilever, and Fonterra, which have already pledged their commitment to a circular economy for soft plastics.  

The NPRS is developed by the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFCG), with funding from the Australian national government.  

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It facilitates the recycling of soft plastics while also ensuring participants can gain access to and make soft plastic packaging with recycled content for the market.  

It encourages collaboration across the entire national supply chain, including recyclers, packagers, manufacturers, councils, retailers, and waste collectors. 

AFGC CEO Tanya Barden: “We’re delighted to see Metcash and 7-Eleven joining this exciting industry initiative. Collaboration with all parts of the packaging and recycling supply chain is central to advancing a sustainable circular economy for soft plastics in Australia. 

“But supermarkets and food and grocery suppliers cannot do this alone. This is bigger than any single industry, so we need everybody on board.”