Containers and Packaging

Over 4 million tonnes of packaging are used in Australia every year. By recycling packaging and containers this helps prevents environmental contamination, it diverts waste from landfill and can reduce the energy output compared to production from raw materials.

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Why Recycle

Roughly four million tonnes of packaging are used in Australia and approximately 57 per cent of this is recycled annually, so there is still some room for improvement. Most packaging and containers are made up from materials such as plastic, cardboard, glass and steel which can easily and effectively be recycled. Recycling packaging diverts large amounts of waste form landfill as well a number of other environmental benefits. For example

  • It takes around 84 per cent less energy to recycle a plastic bottle than to make one from raw materials
  • The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to power a 100 watt light bulb for four hours

Recycling also helps prevent packaging from polluting the environment and entering water streams where it can be harmful to a number of aquatic species. Where possible it is also important to choose containers and packaging with recycled content to help close the loop.

Recycling Options

There are a number of commercial recyclers operating nationally that offer comingled recycling services for recyclable containers and packaging. This service is easily arranged and is generally provided through a wheelie bin placed on site that will be collected by the operator on a regular basis.

What Happen When Its Recycled?

Comingled recycling is collected and then sorted at a central processing facility. From here cans, plastic bottles, containers and other recyclable packaging and containers are processed for use in the production of new products. The plastics will be shredded and extruded into plastic pallets, metals will be melted down and rolled into new sheets while glass bottles and jars are finely crushed and melted in a furnace to produce new glass containers.

More Info & Sources

Australian Food and Grocery Council

Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation

Plastics and Chemicals Industry Association : Facts About Plastics

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