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Home > resource-centre > Are Plastic Bags Killing Your Recycling Efforts?

Are Plastic Bags Killing Your Recycling Efforts?

Feb 08, 2018

In Australia, about 6 billion plastic bags are used annually, with most of them ending up in a landfill. What most people don’t know is that not all are recyclable. Despite most Australians being actively responsible in their recycling efforts, many of us don’t actually know the effect that recycling plastic bags has on our waste.

Here we will answer the questions that will give you more clarity on how to recycle your plastic bags effectively.

Can I put my plastic bags in the kerbside recycling bins?

Yes and no.

Yes, if you make sure that your bin liner has enough space inside it so that the rubbish does not get squashed or inseparably layered onto each other.

And no, if you fill up your bin liner completely. This is because the content inside layers up and get tangled within each other, causing a lot of damage to the machines that process the material. This, in turn, results in unnecessary costs to repair machinery and fewer machines to work with.

What’s the difference between an ARRT and a landfill?

You might have heard that your garbage either goes to an Advanced Resource Recovery Technology (ARRT) facility or the landfill.

An ARRT can only process material that is easy to separate and access. If the content is not resource recovery friendly, it ends up in the landfill.

The landfill wastes your effort because the valuable material is no longer in active use. This increases the demand for raw material. If you are not sure how your waste is being processed, you can contact your Council or local waste management company to find out.

So what should you do with your plastic bags?

In the meantime, while you find out how your waste is being processed, you can take your plastic bags to the supermarkets as a better alternative to putting it in your household garbage bin.

These bins only have plastic bags that aren’t mixed with other recyclables, making it much easier to recycle. However, be sure that your bags are clean.

Be careful to check what kind of plastics the bins accept as some only accept light LDPE shopping bags and others accept heavier plastic.

Will reducing the number of plastic bags I use be helpful?

Yes, it will. Having separate garbage bags for “wet” and “dry” garbage can be helpful as the dry garbage won’t need a bin liner, cutting down the number of bin liners used.

You can also take recycle (calico) bags or baskets when you go shopping as an alternative to plastic bags. It will save a lot of plastic bags from ending up in your garbage bin.

If it’s not very inconvenient, you could also opt to carry your little items from the store if you really don’t need a plastic bag.

If you put this new information to good use, your use of plastic bags might keep up with your recycling efforts.

For any further information, be sure to get in touch with us anytime!

Related Tag: Waste Disposal Melbourne

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