National Recycling Week Wrap Up

What did we do for NRW 2017?

This year, we focused our recycling awareness efforts on two fronts – engagement and education. We invited folks to participate in our ‘Are You A Recycling Superhero?’ quiz, to see just how well people understood kerbside recycling, and find out what really holds them back from making a sustainable future possible.

 

Almost 1,700 people engaged with the quiz on Facebook and it inspired some excellent articles, animations and even an online poll. Here’s what we discovered.

 

  • We sure love our pizza! The question with the most correct answers was “Are pizza boxes recyclable?”
  • Most quiz-takers didn’t know that aerosol cans can be recycled in their kerbside collection.
  • Almost 50% of respondents thought all items with a recycling triangle are recyclable. (They’re not)
  • Plastic bag recycling knowledge is good but more work needs to be done.

 

In response to these learnings, our ’30 seconds to save the world’ video series highlighted simple actions to prevent contamination, improve the quality of recyclables, and ensure as little as possible is sent to landfill.

 

We also ran a series of recycling mythbusters to address common recycling misconceptions. This series sparked some good conversation on social platforms, with many users sharing our content with their friends and family.

 

FACT: Triangle symbols are used to identify the type of plastic but that doesn’t mean it can be recycled through your kerbside bin.

 

FACT: It’s far less energy intensive to use existing aluminium products than to use virgin resources. Producing 20 cans from recycled materials uses the same power as making just one can from raw materials.

 

FACT: It’s best to remove lids from bottles before recycling. It helps the recycling facility sort the containers, and ensures the containers are empty.

 

FACT: Styrofoam and polystyrene is NOT accepted by the majority of councils in Australia. Styrofoam is brittle and breaks apart easily, and the tiny pieces contaminate the other recycling. The best thing is to avoid using it altogether.

 

What’s next?

With National Recycling Week finished for this year, we’re continuing the discussion around recycling by giving everyone the chance to ask the questions instead. To date, the response to our online poll has been encouraging and we will continue to create useful recycling content to bring us through to next year’s National Recycling Week.