Containers & Packaging

Packaging and containers are made up from materials such as plastic, cardboard, glass and steel. Over 5 million tonnes of packaging are used in Australia every year.

Containers & Packaging includes:

Plastic - Bottles
Containers & Packaging

Why Recycle

In 2018-19, the recovery rate for packaging was 50%.1 Most packaging and containers are made up from materials such as plastic, cardboard, glass and steel which can be recycled. Recycling packaging diverts large amounts of waste from landfill as well a number of other environmental benefits. For example

  • Recycling 1 tonnes of PET plastic saves over 2.5 households' energy usage for a year.
  • Recycling aluminium requires 95% less energy than producing new aluminium.

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.

Using your state's Container Deposit Scheme for eligible beverage containers (bottles, cans and cartons) is a great way to raise a little extra cash for staff or to donate to a community group.

What Happen When It's Recycled?

Comingled recycling is collected and then sorted at a central processing facility. From here cans, plastic bottles, containers and other recyclable packaging 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 Information

How to Reduce and Recycle Plastics at Work – use our free guide to keep plastics in use and out of landfill.

Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation – learn about Australia's national packaging targets.

Australasian Recycling Label Marketplace – resources for businesses that use packaging for their products.

Packaging Impact Calculator – businesses can use this tool to find out how sustainable their packaging is.

1Australian packaging consumption and recycling data 2018–19