Soft plastics recycled to create park infrastructure

They might look like run-of-the-mill bollards but did you know the sturdy structures at Alexandra Park are made up of thousands of pieces of recycled soft plastic?

It’s all part of Bundaberg Regional Council’s aim to share the responsibility of creating a sustainable future by being part of an initiative to help complete the full recycling circle.

Waste and recycling portfolio spokesman Cr Scott Rowleson said the soft plastics used to make the bollards were collected through special bins at Woolworths and Coles by a recycling organisation called Redcycle.

“The Redcycle program is a recovery effort for post-consumer soft plastic,” he said.

“The company has teamed up with local Coles and Woolworths stores to make it easy for residents to keep soft plastic packaging out of landfill.

“Residents can recycle specific soft plastics into these bins which are then transported to another company called Replas.”

Cr Rowleson said Replas turned the soft plastics into reusable items.

“For example, a plastic bread bag goes from the shop to the household, then back to Coles or Woolworth to a Redcycle plastic collection bin,” he said.

“From there, these bags travel to Replas in Victoria for recycling into bollards which then come back to Bundaberg for use in Alexandra Park.”

Alexandra Park bollards keep soft plastics out of landfill

The bollards are just one of many items which have been created and used in the region.

It’s an initiative more people should know about, according to Redplas spokesman Darren White, who said the recycling game had changed and more awareness was needed.

“The real challenge is making people realise recycling is no longer about putting it into the bin,” he said.

“It’s not recycled until it has been turned into something, and that has been the real missing piece of the puzzle for a long time.”

Darren said while the bollards in Alexandra Park were also made up of hard plastics for structural integrity, 250 pieces of soft plastic packaging was used per kilogram of finished product.

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