Recycling has come a long way in Australia and it is great to see that the number of different materials able to be recycled increasing. It can be confusing to know what can and can not be recycled, especially when it comes to plastics. With so many different types of plastics on the market, trying to work out what can be recycled can be daunting. However it doesn’t have to be. With our guide below, check out what plastics can be recycled. This can help you to stay on top of your recycling and make sure you are doing your part for the environment. Reducing your carbon footprint and the amount of landfill you are creating is crucial.
Kerbside plastic recycling
In most (if not all) Australian suburbs a weekly or fortnightly kerbside recycling service is available. Through this service you are able to recycle a number of different types of plastic. They will then be taken back to the recycling plant, sorted and then put to good use being made into new products.
Through this service you are able to recycle plastics that include the below plastics.
PET – Polyethylene Terephthalate
PET plastic is the plastic that is used in many of your day to day products such as soft drinks, water bottles and detergent bottles. PET plastic is a solvent resistant plastic.
These can all be recycled through your kerbside recycling program.
HDPE – High Density Polyethylene
HDPE is a very common household plastic and you will find many of your products in this plastic. Products such as milk, shampoo and cleaning products are all contained within HDPE plastic bottles.
PVC – Polyvinyl Chloride
PVC is generally a clear plastic which you will find products such as juice and cordial in. It is a hard and rigid plastic that is not as easily crushed.
LDPE – Low Density Polyethylene
LDPE is a low density plastic that is softer and more flexible than your other plastic bottles. Bottles that you are able to squeeze such as sauce bottles can be contained within a LDPE bottle.
PP – Polypropylene
Takeaway food containers, ice cream containers and lids are all made from a PP plastic. This is a thinner, more flexible plastic.
PS – Polystyrene
Containers that your yoghurt, butter and margarine come in can all be recycled as well. A polystyrene type container is used for these items.
Non kerbside recycling
Many people are unaware that you are able to recycle soft plastics. Soft plastics include plastic bags, bread bags, wrappers and packaging from chips and biscuits.
These items are unable to be recycled through the traditional kerbside recycling service, but they can be recycled through the REDcycle program. Many supermarkets such as Woolworths and Coles have bins located outside their stores where you are able to leave your soft plastics for them to be recycled. The REDcycle program is a great initiative that helps to provide another resource for recycling and to help reduce the amount of landfill being produced.
Plastics that can not be recycled
Unfortunately not all plastics can be recycled though. Expanded Polystrene WPS products are unable to be recycled at the present time. Products made from this plastic usually have foamed, energy absorbing or heating element to them.
They can include packing peanuts, trays that meat products are purchased on and foamed packaging in products (such as in a TV box)
With many different plastics on the market and included in our day to day lives, it is important to recycle where possible. Without recycling there would be a lot more going into landfill. Our carbon foot print would be increased and the negative affects on the environment will continue to increase.
So do your part, recycle where you can and help make a difference in a good way.