We all want to play our part in preserving the health of the environment and recycling is a simple way do so. Sometimes, though, it can seem like the rules are constantly changing about what is and isn’t to be recycled. Like tissue boxes with the plastic dispenser, what’s the verdict on them? Takeaway coffee cups? What about plastic bags? If you answered no, no and no, then maybe you’ve got it down pat. Otherwise, read on.
Information in this article is specific to Brisbane, Australia. Check with your local council for more specific guidelines.
According to the Brisbane City Council, more than 64% of the contents in our household rubbish bins could have been kept out of landfill and either recycled or composted. That is a huge portion of landfill that could have easily been avoided with some simple changes.
The general rule is, into outside bins with the yellow lids, you can put:
- Firm plastic;
- Metal (aluminium and steel); and
- Glass packaging materials.
What should you NOT put in your recycling bin?
- Plastic bags;
- Food waste;
- Garden waste;
- Disposable nappies;
- Contaminated goods (tissues, toilet paper etc);
- Hazardous waste items, such as pool chemicals, pesticides, and acids;
- Used oil containers, paint tins, car batteries and gas bottles.
As always though, there are strict restrictions for the varying types of materials that can be recycled.
|Paper||Newspaper, junk mail, brochures, office paper, gift wrapping paper, used note books, packaging paper, glossy paper and magazines, envelopes (including window envelopes), phone books, greeting cards, coloured paper, paper bags and scrap paper.||Padded envelopes, photographs, thermal fax paper, wax-coated paper, tissues, toilet paper, baking paper and nappies|
|Cardboard||Cardboard boxes, milk/juice cartons (e.g. long-life milk and fruit juice cartons/boxes), egg cartons, toy boxes, clean pizza and cereal boxes, detergent boxes, tissue boxes without the plastic||Wax-coated cardboard boxes e.g. fruit boxes.|
|Plastic||All firm and flexible plastic containers such as soft drink bottles, takeaway containers, margarine containers, milk and juice bottles, yoghurt tubs, biscuit and sushi trays, detergent and shampoo bottles, and disposable plates and cups.||All soft plastics: plastic bags, plastic film or cling wrap, chip packets, toothpaste tubes bubble wrap, Styrofoam and polystyrene products, straws and disposable nappies.Hard plastics that are not containers (toys or toothbrushes etc.) cannot be recycled.|
|Metal||Vegetable and food cans, pet food cans, soft drink cans, pie trays, aerosol cans, aluminium foil and paint tins (empty and dry).||Batteries, gas bottles, wire, scrap iron or tin, cutlery and whitegoods.|
|Glass||All clear, green and brown bottles and jars, including jam jars, food jars, sauce bottles, beverage bottles, perfume and vitamin bottles. Packaging glass is more durable and when mixed with recyclable glass, other glass types weaken the new glass products.||Glass not used for packaging, i.e.: drinking glasses, ceramics, window glass, light bulbs, mirror or window glass, heat-proof glass and cookware such as Pyrex.|
Some handy hints:
- Do not put your recyclables in plastic bags. Plastic bags cannot be opened at the recycling facility for safety reasons, and all the goods inside are sent to landfill. Instead place the items loose in your recycling bin.
- Containers do not need to be rinsed before being placed in your recycling bin. Although rinsing does reduce bin odours, not doing this will not ruin the whole load of recycling.
- Aerosol cans are recyclable. You can safely dispose of all empty aerosol cans and containers that previously held household chemicals in your recycling bin.
- Remove the lids from containers and bottles before you place the bottles in the recycling bin and lids in the rubbish bin.
- With any rings, like the plastic ones attached to bottle lids, cut them in half. This can lessen the damage done if they enter our waterways.
At KD Health and Home, the environmental aspects of our products are a huge priority. Simple changes like using bar soaps in the place of plastic containers is an easy change that you can make cut down on your plastic consumption. Our Goats Milk Soap is also free from environmentally damaging petrochemicals, detergents, SLS and other toxic chemicals.
We care about the environment and we know you do too. Join us.