Plastics recovery in Victoria

In 2015–16 the amount of plastics recovered in Victoria was 149,000 tonnes, a 7 per cent decrease from 2014–15. Victoria remains Australia’s leading plastic recycling state, responsible for reprocessing 45 per cent of Australia's total recovered plastics. 

Of the total plastics waste recovered in 2015–16 (compared to 2014–15):

  • non-packaging (e.g. pipes, cable casing) accounted for 19 per cent, a decrease of 7 per cent to 29,000 tonnes.
  • domestic and industrial packaging (material used for the containment, protection, marketing and/or handling of a product) accounted for 81 per cent and represented a 6 per cent decrease from the previous year to 120,000 tonnes.

In 2015–16, the majority of plastics recycled were sourced from MSW (59 per cent), such as food and domestic packaging. Councils now collect virtually every type of plastic bottle and container (polymer types 1–6) from kerbside collections and drop-off facilities. Most of the remaining plastic comes from C&I (39 per cent), with just 2 per cent from C&D.

Source sectors of plastics received for reprocessing (by weight), Victoria 2015–16

Pie chart from the Victorian Recycling Industry Annual Report 2015-16

The graph below indicates that the recovery of plastics has gradually increased since 2005–06, with a large increase in 2008–09. As well as improved collection systems, industry sources suggest that much of this increase can be attributed to growing public awareness of the importance of recycling. Other contributing factors include increased investment in plastic recycling technology and better quality raw materials that require less effort and expense to reprocess.

Plastic waste recovered for reprocessing, Victoria 2006–07 to 2015–16 

Graph from the Victorian Recycling Industry Annual Report 2015-16

Download the data results and graphs – Excel