Keep your recycling loose

Plastic bags do not belong in the recycling bin.

Planet Ark's 'Seven Secrets of Successful Recyclers' report found that 23 per cent of Australians tie their recyclables up in a plastic bag before placing it in their yellow lid bin.

The report shows that half of those surveyed believe it will be recycled. It won’t.

In order for recyclables to be sorted they must be loose.

The first stage of sorting involves staff picking contaminates (items that cant be recycled) off a conveyor belt by hand.  For health and safety reasons, staff can not open plastic bags, no matter what is in them, so they are removed and sent to landfill.

The report also revealed that people who share bins with their neighbours (such as those living in multi unit developments) are likely to put their recycling in a bag.

You can use a cardboard box to carry your recyclables to your yellow lid bin (as the box can be recycled too) or if you choose to use a plastic bag to carry bottles, cans, paper and other recyclables to your bin, make sure you empty the items out, then put the plastic bag in your red lid garbage bin. 

Plastic bags can only be recycled by dropping them off at specially marked bins at select Coles and Woolworths stores.

Page last updated: Thursday, 28 November 2019