Wasted opportunities - quick fixes to common recycling mistakes

Cleanaway's Recycling Behaviours Report showed where Australians are still getting recycling wrong. Here's our top tips to make the most out of your recycling efforts.

Learning

May 18, 2022

Highlights

Our second Recycling Behaviours Report reveals that for many, confusion and misconceptions about the recycling process are barriers towards proper recycling practices.

Tags: Recycling
Highlights

Our second Recycling Behaviours Report reveals that for many, confusion and misconceptions about the recycling process are barriers towards proper recycling practices.

Are you one of the 42% of Aussies who are incorrectly putting polystyrene in the kerbside recycling bin? Or the 18% who are still bagging their recycling? Cleanaway’s 2022 Recycling Behaviours Report found that while a majority of us try to do the right thing, many are still getting recycling wrong due to confusion over material types and how to dispose of them.

Here’s our top tips for how you can make quick changes to your recycling behaviours that will make the most impact on your sustainability efforts.

1. Sauce bottles and jars

A quick rinse of your sauce bottles and jars will remove residual food and liquids that will contaminate good recycling if it’s left in. It only takes a minute!

2. Lids on or lids off?

The question on everyone’s minds is whether to remove lids from your beverage bottles. While recycling rules differ across areas depending on access to recycling facilities, it’s best to remove the lids and recycle them separately as they may be made from material different from the bottle body and may be too small to be identified in sorting lines at recycling facilities.

3. What to do with chip packets?

Only 29% of Australians use a specialised soft plastics recycling bin such as those provided in selected supermarkets. This means your chip packets, plastic bags and any other scrunchable plastics do not belong in the kerbside recycling bin. Try RedCycle instead!

4. That old phone can be recycled, just not in your kerbside bin

Every year, 44.7 million tonnes of e-waste is generated around the world – containing up to US$ 65 billion worth of raw materials like gold, silver and platinum. The amount of global e-waste is expected to increase by almost 17% to 52.2 million tonnes in 2021, or around 8% every year. In Australia, e-waste is also the fastest-growing component of the municipal solid waste stream.

Cleanaway is committed to helping Australians adopt more sustainable behaviours and recycle efficiently. Our 2022 Recycling Behaviours Report highlights common misconceptions about recycling, and deep-dives into the recycling behaviours of everyday Aussies, to encourage change and action. Read the full report and embark on a journey to make the world a greener place.

Contact us to learn more about how we’re making a sustainable future possible together with communities and businesses across Australia.