Help prevent soft plastic from going to landfill

Help prevent soft plastic from going to landfill

What is Curby?

Curby is a soft plastic collection solution which aims to collect soft plastic from your home –keeping it out of landfill.

The process is simple: collect your household’s clean soft plastic in your Curby Bag and, once it’s full, tie the bag tightly and attach a CurbyTag. Put the tagged bag inside your regular yellow lid recycling bin for collection.

The clean soft plastic collected through Curby will become a valuable resource for use in manufacturing other plastic products, chemical recycling and energy production.

Initially, Curby will run as a trial with 2,000 households before rolling out to remaining 140,000 households in the Central Coast Council area.

Anyone in Australia is welcome to register a future interest to join the Curby program.

What does Curby collect?

Curby will only accept soft plastics inside a Curby Bag, with a CurbyTag attached, and placed in your yellow-lid recycling bin.

We will collect Soft plastics, or flexible plastics that can generally be scrunched into a ball.

These include:

  • Any empty packaging with the ‘Return to Store’ or ‘Store Drop Off’ and;
  • Other similar soft plastic packaging

A detailed list of what can and can’t be placed into your Curby Bags will be sent out to trial participants.

‘Rigid’ plastics like bottles and tubs are not part of the Curby trial, please continue to place these loose rigid plastic items into your recycling bin as normal.

 

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Trial partners

Innovative recycling solutions. Exclusive Australian Cat-HTR™ license holder for chemical recycling of End-of-Life Plastic.

The iQ Renew Material Recovery Facility (MRF) located in Somersby, NSW will identify, separate and process the Curby Bags and their contents.

Nestlé has a vision that none of its packaging, including plastics, ends up in landfill, in oceans, lakes and rivers.

To achieve this, Nestlé is committed to ensuring that 100% of our packaging is recyclable or reusable by 2025, and to contributing to a waste free future

Demonstrated innovation and leadership in recycling; one of the first councils to introduce kerbside recycling.

Committed to working towards new solutions for recovered resources.

Innovative recycling solutions. Exclusive Australian Cat-HTR™ license holder for chemical recycling of End-of-Life Plastic.

The iQ Renew Material Recovery Facility (MRF) located in Somersby, NSW will identify, separate and process the Curby Bags and their contents.

Nestlé has a vision that none of its packaging, including plastics, ends up in landfill, in oceans, lakes and rivers.

To achieve this, Nestlé is committed to ensuring that 100% of our packaging is recyclable or reusable by 2025, and to contributing to a waste free future

Demonstrated innovation and leadership in recycling; one of the first councils to introduce kerbside recycling.

Committed to working towards new solutions for recovered resources.

Who can participate?

Curby is currently being trialled in the Central Coast Council area in NSW. If you live within the Central Coast Council area, you can register to be part of the trial. The trial will initially enrol 2,000 households.

Following the initial trial, we plan to expand Curby to more households within the Central Coast area, other councils and ultimately across Australia.

Easy as 1, 2, 3! 

1

Fill the Curby Bag with clean soft plastic

2

Tie the bag and secure a CurbyTag to the Bag

3

Put the Curby Bag into your yellow lid recycling bin

1

Fill the Curby Bag with clean soft plastic

2

Tie the bag and secure a CurbyTag to the Bag

3

Put the Curby Bag into your yellow lid recycling bin

Welcome pack

If I am accepted to participate in the Curby trial program what can I expect to receive?

Households participating in the Curby trial will receive a confirmation email with further details, including the commencement date of the program.

Shortly afterwards you will receive a Welcome Pack in the mail, which will include everything you need to participate in the trial.

The welcome pack includes:

Curby bags (x12)

CurbyTags (x12)

Information letter

Common questions

Why soft plastics?

In 2017-18 only 29,000 tonnes of the 449,000 tonnes of soft plastics used in Australia was recycled (6%). To increase recycling rates and reduce soft plastic in landfill, we need to find new ways to collect and recycle soft plastics: Curby is testing new ways to do this. (source: APCO – Our packaging future report)

What will be done with the soft plastic collected in the Curby trial?

The soft plastic will be delivered to iQ Renew’s Material Recovery Facility (MRF) on the NSW Central Coast, where it will be sorted and then sent for processing.

The trial is investigating a range of recycling and recovery options suitable for the soft plastic collected, including using it:

  • to make new plastic items, particularly hard-wearing outdoor uses like decking, bollards, outdoor furniture and signs.
  • as a resource for chemical recycling. Chemical recycling transforms plastic back into the oil and chemicals it originally came from. Soft plastic collected in the Curby trial will be trialled as a feedstock for Cat-HTR™ process at Licella’s pilot plant on the NSW Central Coast. For more information on the Cat-HTR™ technology, visit https://www.iqrenew.com/technology/
  • For energy recovery. The term “energy recovery” refers to converting wastes, such as plastic, into energy. 
What is a CurbyTag?

The CurbyTag is a sticker which you’ll need to attach to the outside of the Curby Bag once you have filled with clean soft plastic and tied it.

The tag includes a QR code which will be used to help identify the bags at the recycling centre and also provide information to assess how the trial is working.

What is the Curby trial testing?

The team behind Curby has a vision for a future where no soft plastic goes to landfill: the Curby trial is a step on that journey.

Right now, almost all the soft plastic used in Australia goes to landfill, with only a fraction being recycled. We think Australia can do better, and that there’s an opportunity to turn used soft plastic into a resource.

Experience in Australia and around the world shows that people are more likely to recycle when it’s easy to access. That’s why we have invested in an innovative, fun way to collect soft plastics from households, using existing kerbside recycling bins.

While soft plastic can be used as a resource, it’s difficult to collect it because it’s so light and can become tangled in sorting equipment.

With the Curby trial, we’re trying to answer a few questions –

  • Do households want this?
  • Given that having the wrong things in the bag will contaminate the processing system, will residents collect and bag their soft plastics correctly?
  • Will the bags survive the collection process, including the truck, without too much damage?
  • Once the bags reach the sorting facility, what is the best way to separate them from other recyclable materials?
  • What’s the best way to process and recover the soft plastic we receive?
  • How do we create and support new uses for processed soft plastic?

Much of this we’ve tested at small scale, but it’s time to test them at a larger scale.

I’m not in the Curby Trial Program – how can I recycle my soft plastics?

Soft plastic packaging is also recycled by the REDcycle program – simply take your soft plastics to the in-store bin marked REDcycle at participating Coles and Woolworths stores – click here to find your nearest store.

I know someone that wants to join the Curby trial, how do they join?

Curby is currently being trialled in the NSW Central Coast Council area.

If you live within the Central Coast Council area, you can register to be part of the trial.

If we have reached the initial 2,000 resident limit we will place you onto a waitlist so that you can participate once the Curby Program is more broadly available.

Following the initial trial, we plan to expand Curby to more households and other councils. Anyone can register to be kept updated on the Curby program.

Will the Curby program operate with other soft plastic programs?

The Curby trial has been initiated by key project sponsors iQ Renew and Nestlé.

The REDcycle program is a product stewardship scheme which collects soft plastic packaging in-store in Coles and Woolworths for recycling. This scheme has grown significantly; however, there is potential for soft plastic recycling rates to be increased.

The Curby trial aims to complement REDcycle by offering another option to households to recycle soft plastics, by testing collection in kerbside recycling bins.

We encourage Central Coast residents to continue supporting the REDcycle return to store program.

 

When will this be introduced to other Councils?

The Curby trial is being conducted with residents in the Central Coast Council (NSW) area. After the initial trial, we will extend a second phase to all Central Coast Council residents.

We have a vision for a future where no soft plastic goes to landfill: as we learn from the Curby trial and confirm the best approaches to collecting, sorting and processing soft plastic, we will seek to expand the program nationally.

Why does the Curby Trial Program use an additional plastic bag?

We’ve made the Curby bag from 70% recycled plastic content to minimise how much new plastic we use, we acknowledge this challenge. For the Trial Program to operate as an efficient process, we initially require soft plastics to be collected using the supplied Curby Bag.

Soft plastics are so light and flexible that sorting equipment can’t separate them from other items in the recycling bin. This has been one of the biggest obstacles to collecting and processing soft plastics.

The Curby bag aims to overcome this by containing the soft plastics and making it possible to sort them.

Curby Bags are fully recycled together with all the clean soft plastic collected.

In the future we will seek to test two methods of bagging the soft plastics:

1. Distributed Curby Bags & CurbyTags for the trial to active participants.

2. Future testing to use a CurbyTag with an existing plastic shopping bag. This process would result in no new plastic production and reduce the cost of the Curby Program.

Trial participant questions

Which plastics can I put in my Curby bag?

Curby will only accept clean soft plastics placed inside a Curby bag, with a CurbyTag attached.

Soft plastics, or flexible plastics, that can generally be scrunched into a ball including:

  • Clean soft plastics
  • Empty packaging with the ‘Return to Store’ or ‘Store Drop Off’ ARL (Australasian Recycling Label) symbol; and
  • Other similar soft plastic packaging.
Why do I need to use the Curby tags? What will happen if I use the Curby bags without the tags?

Attaching the CurbyTags provided is a critical step to help us make sure that the soft plastics are recovered by sorting equipment at the recycling facility.

Please follow the simple instructions on the Curby bags. If you do not have a CurbyTag, then please don’t put your soft plastics in the recycling bin.

The CurbyTag clearly marks the bag for collection and avoids the soft plastic being sent to landfill. 

Should you not have a CurbyTag we encourage Central Coast residents to continue supporting the REDcycle return to store program.

 

Can I put recycling other than soft plastics in my Curby bag?

No. The Curby bag is only for clean soft plastics. A full list of what can and can’t go in the Curby bags will be provided to trial residents.

This is because the contents of the Curby bag are not sorted; rather, the entire bag and its contents go straight into processing.

Please place your other recycling loosely into the recycling bin.

Why do you need to collect my details to be part of the Curby trial? What data will you be capturing and how will this be used?

A primary objective for the Curby trial is to make sure that the systems we have set up to identify and sort soft plastics in our sorting facility are effective.

The CurbyTag – which will be unique to each tag – will help us do this.

By monitoring participation in the Curby program from households in the trial area, we hope to better understand the process and improve it ahead of wider roll-out.

All communication from the Curby program co-ordinators is distributed on an opt-in basis. As Curby is a trial initially, we may need to communicate with you and seek your feedback more frequently.

For trial participants, we may require some additional information such as:

  • Name
  • Home address
  • Email
  • Mobile (optional)
  • Dwelling type
  • Age bracket

The total weight of all the bags collected each day will be measured as a batch so that we can understand the volume of soft plastic being diverted from landfill.

For more information on our Data and Privacy Policy, click here

I have used all my Curby Bags and CurbyTags, can I order more bags?

The issuing of CurbyTags and Curby bags is being closely managed in the trial, we are not able to provide more tags or bags.

This is part of making sure the trial gives useful information that helps us improve the wider program. Feedback from the trial will help us develop options for the future.

Can I put more than one Curby bag in my yellow recycling bin?

Yes you can, as long as:

  • They fit in your recycling bin,
  • The bin lid is fully closed, and
  • There’s a CurbyTag on each bag.
What if my recycling bin is full already?

One of the benefits of soft plastic is it’s easy to scrunch and compress, so try compressing your Curby Bag – it may be easier to fit around the harder objects in your recycling bin. 

If my recycling bin is full, can I put the Curby bags in my red lid (landfill) bin?

No. Curby Bags that go into the red (landfill) bin will go to landfill.

Yes! I want to Join Team Curby!