All plastic with a triangle symbol can be put in my kerbside recycling bin

Not all plastics are made equal. The triangle symbols with numbers one to seven (or Plastic Identification Codes) are used to represent the type of plastic the item is made of. While every plastic type is technically recyclable, not all plastics are accepted in council kerbside recycling.

  • This is the second most common recycling myth as nominated by councils.
  • Research from the Australian Plastics Recycling Survey 2016-17 revealed that out of the 3,513,100 tonnes of plastic consumed annually, only 11.8% of consumer plastic in Australia was recycled.
  • The Australasian Recycling Label is an evidence-based system that provides easy to understand instructions on how to correctly dispose of every part of the packaging.
  • 41% of Australians incorrectly think soft plastics can be recycled at home.1 Soft plastics like cereal and pasta bags, bubble wrap and plastic shopping bags should not go in your council recycling bin.2 Nor should recyclables be put inside a plastic bag (items should be put in loose in the recycling bin). These cause problems at the sorting facility.

1Planet Ark commissioned research by Pollinate, Sep 2019
2A small handful of councils do accept soft plastics

Recycling Mythbusters | Myth #3



  • BYO takeaway container – search Trashless Takeaway.
  • BYO fruit and vegetable bags.
  • BYO coffee cup and water bottle.


  • Avoid single-use items.
  • Avoid packaging by buying in bulk at wholesalers