Household Packaging Waste

Kerbside recycling & waste bins

Packaging contains, preserves and protects consumer goods, making their handling, warehousing and distribution easier and cheaper, and ensuring consumers receive clean and safe products.

The Problem

In 2012, Australians sent about 1.6 million tonnes of packaging to landfill. That's about the same weight as almost 26 million adults! 

  • More than 1 in 2 Australians incorrectly believe they can put old or broken drinking glasses (55%) and biscuit packets and trays (52%) in their home recycling bins.
  • Packaging production requires significant resources, including energy, water and oil, although recent industry moves towards lightweighting has gone some way to reducing this demand. Packaging is also one of the main components in litter.

The Revolution

In the ten years to 2012, the recycling rate for packaging increased from 39.2% to 63.8%.

  • The introduction of kerbside recycling services in Australia in the late 1980s and early 1990s was a major turning point in the effective management of household packaging waste.
  • Since the early days, this revolution has grown so that about 95% of Australians can now recycle their used packaging at home.

Join the Revolution!

85% of Australians agree that recycling at home is the right thing to do.


    • To find how you can "recycle right" and reduce contamination in your at-home recycling, visit RecyclingNearYou and search in your suburb or council area. Click on "Kerbside Recycling collection" to see a list of the materials that can and cannot go in your recycling bin. Remember, if in doubt, leave it out!
    • To find out what happens to your recycling after it's collected from your home, check out the short, animated video produced by Planet Ark below.

You can download the full Recycling Revolution Report below.

Sorting your recycling

© Planet Ark 2013