New study finds Australians hampering recycling with soft plastics

12 November 2018 (Last Updated November 19th, 2018 12:57)

A study has identified that Australians are throwing soft plastics into recycling bins, causing problems at sorting facilities.

New study finds Australians hampering recycling with soft plastics
The study finds throwing food waste into the recycling contaminates paper and cardboard recycling streams. Credit: Creative Commons Zero.

A study has identified that Australians are throwing soft plastics into recycling bins, causing problems at sorting facilities.

Australian non-profit environmental organisation Planet Ark Environmental Foundation conducted the study involving 180 councils to identify the most common recycling mistakes made by Australians.

According to the study, residents are dropping non-recyclable soft plastics such as bread bags, bagged recyclables and food scraps or organics in recycling bins due to a lack of information. This results in recyclables going to landfill.

Planet Ark recycling programmes manager Ryan Collins said: “National Recycling Week is the perfect time to reboot your own recycling habits.

“Planet Ark’s research has revealed that, despite 71% of people being confident in knowing what can and can’t be recycled, 61% would still like to see more information on these topics.”

“The initiative is aimed at educating people on how to recycle right by offering them the information on the recycling process.”

Councils also identified that throwing food waste into the recycling contaminates paper and cardboard recycling streams.

Sanitary products, clothing and non-recyclable plastics such as meat trays and bottle tops are also causing the problem.

In a move to address this issue, Planet Ark has introduced a new theme, ‘From Waste War to Recycling Reboot’ as part of the National Recycling Week programme.

The initiative is aimed at educating people on how to recycle right by offering them the information on the recycling process.