There are four ways that you can help save the planet while shopping.
1. Buy products with less packaging
- Remember the '4R's', REFUSE, REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE. Where possible try to avoid products that have excessive or unnecessary packaging. Or putting items like a bunch of bananas in plastic bags.
- Bring your own packaging, from reusable bags to shopping at wholefood stores where you can bring your own containers.
- Bring a reusable coffee cup such as a Keep Cup when getting a take away coffee.
2. Buy containers and packaging that are recyclable
- Most councils accept cans. glass bottles and jars and plastic containers. Empty aerosol cans are recyclable as are milk and juice cartons. Find out what your council accepts at RecyclingNearYou.
- Soft plastics such as bread bags, rice and pasta packets, biscuit and chip packets and plastic bags are also recyclable but NOT in your kerbside recycling bin (with the exception of a few councils, see our Soft Plastics page). The REDCycle program have soft plastic recycling bins in many supermarkets which make a convenient drop-off point for all that soft plastic packaging.
- Avoid packaging made up of many different types of materials, making them unsuitable for kerbside recycling, Some tubes of chips like Pringles that have cardboard, foil and plastic in the container can’t be separated when placed in kerbside recycling bins.
- When consuming food and drink outside of the home take your packaging home with you so it can be recycled.
- With the introduction of the Australian Recycling Label it should become easier in the future to know which packaging on products is recyclable.
3. Buy products that have recycled content in their packaging
- Choose food cans, glass bottles, some soft drink bottles, aluminium cans and cardboard boxes made from recycled materials. They’re often recyclable after use.
- Many more cleaning, food and beauty product containers are being made from recycled plastic look for the RPET logo on the pack.
4. Buy products made from recycled materials
- Some products are themselves made from recycled materials, not just their packaging. For example SAFE toilet tissue is made from recycled office paper.
- Planet Ark’s Make it Recycled supports recycled content office paper such as Reflex office paper made from 50% to 100% recycled content.
- Many other products like carpet underlay, cartridges, cat litter, flooring, pens, rulers, garden beds, bags and shoes are increasing being made from recycled materials.
- It's important to "buy recycled" as this creates a demand for recycled materials and keeps the recycling industries healthy financially.