Keeping your recycling loose and not in bags has a big impact on how effectively recycling is collected, sorted and processed which means it can be turned into new things like footpaths and roads.
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Just by putting your recycling in the bin loose and not in bags, you’ll be making it easier for your council to collect and process recycling. This means:
Currently, 16% of Victorians put their recycling in plastic bags, making it a major contaminant in household recycling bins (Sustainability Victoria, Recycling Victoria Campaign Baseline Research, July 2021).
Contamination occurs when items that can’t be recycled are placed in the recycling bin. These non-recyclable items can prevent recycling from being processed and turned into new things. Contamination can even lead to an entire load of recycling being sent to landfill.
Recycling in plastic bags cannot be sorted at Material Recovery Facilities because:
Recycling technology has come a long way in the last few years. By recycling correctly, your recyclables can be transformed into everyday products or used in major Victorian infrastructure projects like:
Once full, empty the contents into your household recycling bin so that all items go in separately.
Rinsing and scraping food or liquid from containers can prevent smells and keep your recycling bin clean. Then you won’t need to use a bag to contain your recycling.
Waste and recycling services can change and differ between councils, so it is important to know what your council can accept. Find out by checking your council's waste and recycling advice.
Many items can still be recycled even if they don’t belong in your recycling bin. For example, batteries can be recycled by taking them to a drop-off point.
Highly toxic items, such as chemicals, should never be put in your rubbish bins or poured down the drain. Find out how to dispose of toxic household items.
Find out where you can take or send items that can’t go in your recycling or rubbish bin by visiting the Recycling Near You tool or Recycle Mate.
[The visuals during this video are an infographic illustrating the recycling of plastics by placing into a recycling bin and tubs, sorting, manufacturing and being reused as planter boxes, tables and park benches]
Items in plastic bags don’t get recycled because they can’t be sorted. Try using a tub or container to collect your recycling and put it into the bin loose and not in a bag. This means that more can be made from your recycling like planter boxes, tables and even park benches.
They might seem small but your actions make a big impact on Victoria’s sustainable future.
[Visual of slide with text saying ‘A small act makes a big impact’]
[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Sustainability Victoria’, ‘Victoria State Government’, ‘Find out more at www.sustainability.vic.gov.au’]
Find out more at sustainability.vic.gov.au.
[Closing visual of slide with text saying ‘Victoria State Government’, ‘Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne’]
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Get ready for new recycling services, find out how to reduce waste and check that you're sorting recycling and waste correctly by undertaking a few small acts.