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Australian Recycling Symbols & What They Mean

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by All Gone Admin
Australian Recycling Symbols

If we know what the recycling symbols mean, how we deal with trash can change a lot. Australian homes and businesses can recycle more efficiently and leave less of an impact on the earth if they know what each symbol means.

Recycling SymbolsDescription
Recycling symbol (or Mobius Loop): The item was made from recycled materials or can be recycled. 
Conditionally recyclable: These things can only be recycled if the steps below the symbol are followed. If not, they can't be recycled. 
Not Recyclable: This item can't be placed in the recycling bin. Use the trash bin instead.

Check Locally: The item might be recyclable. The upper part of this symbol indicates the package component, in this case, a carton. The lower part provides instructions on any additional steps needed before recycling the item.
The Green Dot: Consumers need to understand recycling symbols because they can be misleading. The widely used symbol indicates the producer has financially contributed to a national packaging recovery company, not necessarily that the item is recyclable or made from recycled materials. It's a good indicator for conscious consumers, but verifying the item's recyclability is still important.

Seven Plastic Recycling Symbols: Unlike the Mobius Loop, these codes show what kind of plastic an item is made of but not whether it can be recycled. In most cases, local governments don't require recycling by resin codes. If you're not sure, ask your local authority about kerbside pickup or recycling centres. 

The Green Dot: Consumers need to understand recycling symbols because they can be misleading. The widely used symbol indicates the producer has financially contributed to a national packaging recovery company, not necessarily that the item is recyclable or made from recycled materials. It's a good indicator for conscious consumers, but it's still important to verify the item's recyclability.

Glass: This symbol serves as a reminder to recycle in the glass container. According to Mossy Earth, recycling glass can reduce air pollution by 20% and water pollution by 50%.
The Forest Stewardship Logo: It’s an independent following FSC guidelines. The Forest Stewardship Logo means that the product is wood-based and from a responsibly managed forest.

Compostable: The European Bioplastics symbol certifies that a product is industrially compostable in accordance with the European Standard EN 13432. It is important to avoid combining items with this symbol with regular recycling, as they have the potential to decompose and contaminate recyclable plastics. Instead, dispose of them with garden waste.  

Electrical waste symbol: This implies that electrical items should not be disposed of in your general waste. 

Plastic Recycling Symbols

Plastic Resin Codes (1-7)

The seven recycling codes are numbers 1-7, each surrounded by a triangular logo made of three chasing arrows, known as the Mobius loop. This symbol indicates that the item is made from plastic and provides information on the type of plastic resin used. 

These codes help identify the plastic's recyclability and guide proper disposal or recycling methods. Understanding these codes can significantly improve recycling efficiency and reduce contamination in the recycling stream.

  • The number indicates the grade of plastic used in packaging.
  • The codes are used to show how and if an item can be recycled.
  • Examples of products with code 1 include water bottles and food packaging, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE).
  • Examples of products with code 2 include milk bottles and shampoo containers, made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE).
  • Pipes and vinyl records made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC or V) are examples of products with code 3.
  • Examples of products with code 4 include plastic bags and packaging materials, made of low-density polyethylene (LDPE).
  • Examples of products with code 5 include containers and packaging materials, made of polypropylene (PP).
  • Examples of products with code 6 include packaging peanuts, Styrofoam cups, and other items made of polystyrene (PS). This type of plastic is commonly used for disposable coffee cups, plastic food boxes, plastic cutlery, and insulation materials. While polystyrene is lightweight and versatile, it is often difficult to recycle and can break into small particles, posing environmental challenges.
  • Examples of products with code 7 include unknown or mixed plastics, such as multilayer packaging, some types of plastic toys, and various food containers. These items are often made from a combination of plastics or other materials, making them more difficult to recycle. Always check with your local recycling guidelines to determine if these items can be processed in your area.

Learning more about recycling symbols can make your recycling more effective! To cut down on waste and damage to the environment, it's important to know these symbols. They tell you what you can and can't recycle and how to use restricted recycling. 

Be careful about how you throw away electrical waste, plastics, and glass. If you aren't sure what to do, always ask the people in charge of trash collection in your area. Let's work together to make the future cleaner and healthier. You can trust All Gone Rubbish Removals to get rid of all your junk. Contact us today at 0427 783 277

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