One of Australia’s largest bread manufacturers is taking steps to ditch its plastic waste. Roughly 100 million plastic bread tags, equivalent to 35 tonnes, will be eliminated from the waste streams of three Australian states as Tip Top continues rolling out its 100% recycled and recyclable cardboard bread bag tags.
The first phase of the roll out began in South Australia in November 2020 and this month, plastic-free bread tags will hit supermarket shelves in Victoria and New South Wales. The Australia-wide rollout of the cardboard tags is planned to take place over the next two years.
The company’s transition to recyclable bread tags is the first of a series of packaging innovations to close the waste loop – the aim is for all of Tip Top’s packaging to be 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.
“We want to be proactive, rather than wait for our customers to ask us to address our waste,” says Graeme Cutler, Director of Sales and CSR Lead at Tip Top ANZ. “And, when it comes to working together as a nation to eliminate single-use plastics, we want to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.”
According to figures from the federal government’s National Plastics Plan which aims to phase out “problematic and unnecessary plastics” by 2025, Aussies consume roughly 3.5 million tonnes of plastics annually. Australian households are the largest contributors to this waste.
“Small pieces of plastic such as bread tags are problematic in recycling and waste streams,” explains Rebecca Gilling, Deputy CEO of Planet Ark, one of Australia’s leading not-for-profit environmental organisations.
“For this reason, Planet Ark is pleased to see Tip Top designing out waste by replacing plastic bread tags with a circular solution made from 100% recycled cardboard. When recycled correctly, the cardboard will be used again, closing the recycling loop and keeping resources in use.”
While the bread tags can be recycled in kerbside bins, Tip Top recommends tucking the tag securely inside other paper or cardboard products, such as an envelope or paper bag, for the best chance of being upcycled into a new product.
It is estimated that 400 million pieces of single-use plastic bread tags will be removed every year in Australia and New Zealand once the roll-out phase has been completed.
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