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4 recycling mistakes you might not know you're making

Published: 31 May 2018

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4 recycling mistakes you might not know you're making

We all want to recycle right – but with so many types of packaging, it’s easy to get confused. Check out Fair Go’s Tidy Kiwi story about recycling correctly. 

We all ‘wish-cycle’, putting things in our recycling bin we hope can be recycled.  But not everything can. Check out these top recycling mistakes... 

Coffee cups

Coffee cups can’t be recycled – they include a plastic lining on the inside to make them watertight, so please don’t put them in your recycling bin.  The plastic lid can go in your recycling bin.

Compostable and biodegradable food packaging

Cups and takeaway food packaging that are ‘compostable’ or ‘biodegradable’ can't be recycled – they need to go into a commercial composting system that uses high heat to accelerate the breakdown process, so please don’t put them into your recycling bin or home composting.

Plastic bags and soft plastics

Plastic bags can’t go in your kerbside recycling bin – they jam our recycling sorting machines.

Soft plastics include bread bags, rice bags, chip packets and any plastic that you can scrunch in your hand. 

However, you can recycle plastic bags and soft plastics by taking them to your local supermarket and putting them into their green recycling collection bins.

Check the Store Locator to find a collection point near you.

Pizza boxes

We love to recycle pizza boxes – just not with the pizza still in them!

All clean cardboard and paper packaging can be recycled, so try to keep cardboard dry and free from food.

Recycle right – quick tips:

RECYCLE clean plastic, glass, metal and cardboard packaging containers from your kitchen, bathroom and laundry.

RINSE all containers, leaving the lids on.

REDUCE plastic packaging – at the time of purchasing something, think about whether you need the plastic packaging. 

Top tip:  Little changes to your everyday routine can reduce plastic – always use reusable shopping bags, re-useable coffee cups and re-useable water bottles. 

What can and can't be recycled?

WATCH:  This short video shows what can and can’t be recycled in your kerbside bin. 

Read more:

Waste Environment