Recycling 101

Waste management and recycling can be confusing. Recycling is a business. And like any business, recycling needs an end-buyer, someone who has use for the recycled materials. The whole idea of recycling is that we can divert plastics away from landfill and that we can use these materials instead of creating new products from virgin materials [fossil fuel plastics]. 

Most products have multiple pieces of packaging, which in most cases needs to be recycled differently to one another. 

Australasian Recycling Label

Resin Identification Codes

Look for the Resin Identification Codes, which are numbered “1 to 7”. These numbers identify what types of plastics our products are being package in, enabling us to make better choices both when purchasing and reusing plastic containing products. The most commonly accepted plastics for recycling are #1 – Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET plastics generally used in plastic bottles, containers and bottle lids), #2 – High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and #4 – Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE).

Resin Identification Codes

Once the plastics get to the recycling facility the processing belts are not designed to accommodate materials smaller than a credit card, so they simply fall through or jam the machinery. When collecting plastics at home, try to collect the smaller pieces and place them into a container of the same material, such as placing plastic bottle-lids into a plastic container, pr aluminium caps into an aluminium tin and placing smaller pieces paper of paper into an envelope.

Soft Plastics

Keep all your plastic bags, wrappers, packets, zip-lock bags, produce bags, pasta bags, bread bags and plastic packaging, and as long as they are dry, they can be recycled with the recycle program, located at any major Coles and Woolworths supermarkets https://www.redcycle.net.au

Better yet – look at switching to reusable options to help reduce this waste.

Soft Plastics

Terra Cycle

Terra Cycle is another recycling program that accepts products that are otherwise destined for landfill, such as toothpaste tubes, contact lenses, dental floss, beauty care products, such makeup and eye-shadow pallets, straws and pens. Find your nearest Terra Cycle drop off location https://www.terracycle.com/en-AU/about-terracycle/drop_off_locations

Reduce, Reuse – then recycle.
look at reducing your overall consumption of products, limiting food waste by only purchasing what you need, growing your own and using bulk food alternatives.
Can you reuse or repurpose anything such as glass jars, bags, swapping plastic wrap for reusable containers and food wax wraps, ensuring you have a reusable coffee cup & water bottle in your bag & car to limit your plastic use & waste. Then step three – Recycle consciously, with our handy tips above and look at a few key products you use everyday at home such as changing your plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one. Small steps can lead to great things.

We can all play a part in responsible recycling and help reduce unnecessary landfill.

~ Love Thy Earth x

Love Thy Earth's Logo Leaf

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