Plastics - sorted!

Plastic items make up a large percentage of our household recycling bin. 

With kerbside recycling starting again last month, we’ve answered some commonly-asked questions to help you correctly recycle plastics in your yellow-lid bin.

  1. Recycling all plastics through my kerbside bin
    You can only recycle empty, clean rigid plastics bottles and containers.
  2. Rigid plastic definition
    Rigid plastics maintain their shape and form, even when empty. If you’re not sure, give it a squeeze. If it springs back to its original shape, it’s a rigid plastic.

    Milk and soft drink bottles, yoghurt, margarine and ice cream containers, shampoo and laundry detergent bottles are just a few common rigid containers found in your home.

    Use the online directory for a list of accepted Plastic – Rigid Only items.
  3. Tetra Pak containers and your recycling bin
    Any cardboard container designed to hold liquids such as coffee cups, milk or juice cartons cannot be recycled in your kerbside recycling bin. Please place them in the rubbish bin.
  4. Plastic bottle tops – on or off?
    Remove all bottle tops and put them in your recycling bin separately.
  5. Cleaning recyclables definition
    They don’t need to be squeaky clean just give them a quick rinse, especially  diary product containers. 
  6. Soft plastic definition
    Plastics that can be scrunched into a ball are soft plastics. Plastic bags, bread bags, frozen food bags are common examples. Soft plastics cannot be recycled through your kerbside bin.
  7. Recycling soft plastics
    Soft plastics should be taken to participating Coles and Woolworths supermarkets for recycling through REDcycle. Soft plastics must be empty and dry as wet plastic can create a mould problem.
  8. Recycling symbol doesn't mean you can recycle
    Even though some plastic bags and magazine wrappers have a recycling symbol on them, only rigid plastics can go in your kerbside bin.
  9. Degradable, biodegradable or compostable bags
    These marked bags cannot be recycled through your kerbside recycling bin or REDcycle. They should be placed in your rubbish bin.
  10. Bagged recyclables definition
    This term refers to recycling presented inside plastic bags. It’s the number one contamination issue in our recycling bins. The bags cannot be opened and sorted at the processing facility and are sent to landfill. Keep your recyclables loose in your recycling bin to ensure they are recycled.
  11. Plastic toys and my kerbside bin
    Broken and damaged plastic toys should be placed in your kerbside rubbish bin.

    Good quality, clean toys can find a new home through your local charity shop, but be sure to ask if they’re suitable.
  12. Meat trays
    Only clear plastic meat trays can be recycled in your kerbside bin, but remove the soft plastic cover first. Trays made from polystyrene should be placed in your rubbish bin.
  13. Recycling numbers and what they mean
    This number identifies the type of plastic the product is made from.

Page last updated: Monday, 16 December 2019