Soft plastic recycling update #2

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Something amazing happened recently that made my day. It was an email from a reader asking me to update this post on the soft-plastic recycling scheme by RED Group to include foil-type packaging. Allow me to explain why this caused me to dance around like a Brazilian soccer fan…

There are two heavily processed, overpackaged foods that my family simply cannot give up:  corn thins and rice crackers, both of which come in that faux-foil stay-fresh packaging (the corn thins do the foil-bag-within-the-plastic-bag trick, terrible). These foilesque bits of trash are the only packaging you will find in the yoghurt pot we use for a bin, and despite being so very light, they have weighed heavily on my conscience.

So when Stefan so kindly emailed to tell me he’d been informed this type of  packaging could be recycled by the REDcycle Program, I was thrilled. That email single-handedly reduced my waste-to-landfill by half!

I contacted RED Group to confirm and sure enough:

“Yes, the very thin layer of foil that some muesli bars, chips and crisp breads come in can go in the REDcycle drop-off bins at Coles supermarkets.”

If you have yet to discover the wonders of soft-plastic recycling, it goes like this: collect all those pasta packets, frozen veggie bags, dog food pouches, plastic bags, wraps and other soft plastic that usually fill your bin, take them to Coles supermarkets and stuff them into the REDcycle bins (which are usually green), and Melbourne-based recycling consultancy RED Group will turn them into playground equipment. It’s awesome on all levels.

One quick note: just because you are a recycling goddess (or god) and take all your plastics to Coles to be recycled, remember the huge amount of resources that go into these throw-away items, including water, petroleum, shipping resources, bulk packaging, manpower and so on, and stick to the first rule of eco-living: reduce!

If anyone knows how to make corn thins or rice crackers from scratch, I’m all ears!

Learn more about the REDcycle program here!


  1. Bek @Just For Daisy says

    That is FABULOUS!! I will have to send this to my family and friends who have become converts too! Our kids love popping (sometimes 6 bags at a time) our bags into the bins at Coles, then trudging off to shop elsewhere!! ;) And there’s even one of the benches there which are made from the plastics so it’s a great first hand show of what we’re stopping from being thrown away and creating something new from instead!
    THanks for sharing – truly exciting!!
    Bek @Just For Daisy recently posted..Gift Idea: Story Stones and Custom StorybookMy Profile

  2. Susan says

    Awesome! So to clarify I can recycle any foil that is like the wrapper of a crunchie bar (don’t judge me!), thin and light – and just not the type that comes out of the al foil roll…

    I come across foil like this all the time (sadly we are still obviously eating lots of crap), but I can’t think of any other examples right now.

    Great news though – I’m pumped!
    Susan recently posted..Are modern mums just a pack of whingers?My Profile

  3. Anne At Home says

    Brilliant! I will make a special trip to Coles for this (i’m trying to break up with them…)
    As for corn thins/rice crackers, no recipe here sorry. I do think the corn thins taste like popcorn, so I just cook up some popcorn (the old fashioned way-saucepan plus oil, not microwave) now and then for afternoon tea. For home made crackers I cut up pita breads into triangles with my pizza cutter, lay on a baking tray, spray with olive oil spray, sprinkle with dried italian herbs and salt, bake at 200 for about 5-10 minutes. Delicious with hummus or on their own.

    • (dt)em says

      Yum! Sounds amazing… we try to eat a low-gluten diet so I guess I’m going to have to live with corn thins for now! x

  4. Erin says

    This is great news. I don’t buy any of those products anymore but I know some of my friends do so will pass on the information.

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