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Cleaning Up Confusion

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A new report titled So You Think You Can Recycle? released for National Recycling Week shows that Australians are keen recyclers with about half of all workplaces recycling their printer cartridges. But it also found some surprises like the fact that the most committed recyclers are more likely to make two key mistakes and there are even differences based on age and gender. 

As a workplace collection point for ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’ you are among the half of Australian workplaces that collect cartridges for recycling. And thanks to you, and those other workplaces, more than 32 million cartridges have been recycled into items like pens, garden beds, road surfaces and thousands of tonnes of new plastics and metals.

Attitude and Behaviour

NSW EPA social research found that almost everyone thinks they understand the recycling process, from those that are considered enthusiastic, committed recyclers to those disengaged towards recycling.

  • 57% of ‘committed’ recyclers wrongly recycle old drinking glasses compared to 44% of ‘disengaged’ recyclers (drinking glasses cannot be recycled in kerbside bins)
  • 35% of ‘committed’ recyclers are more likely to always recycle ceramic plates than those who are ‘disengaged’ (27%) (ceramic interferes with glass recycling) 

Demographic Differences

Planet Ark’s research showed a number of differences between the sexes and age groups with women and older generations on top in their recycling behaviour.

  • Women (69%) are more willing than men (59%) to recycle batteries at the supermarket.
  • More women (63%) than men (53%) know that berry punnets are recyclable in kerbside bins.
  • More 50-64 year olds (48%) than 14-24 year olds (30%) know that aerosol cans are recyclable in kerbside bins.
  • More 50-64 year olds (87%) than 14-24 year olds (74%) know that long life milk and juice cartons can be recycled at home. 

High Performing Workplaces

The recent Australian Packaging Covenant awards showcased further examples of businesses driving success and innovation in the waste and recycling area. Some of their key achievements include:

  • Unilever Australia, redesigning the 500ml Lipton Ice Tea bottle and saving 403 tonnes of plastic per year.
  • Blackmores, saving $68,500 per annum on waste disposal through their Close Loop process.
  • Smith’s Snackfood Company and Sakata Rice Snacks, increased plastic recycling by 47% up to 97 tonnes.
  • Australia Post, enabling customers to recycle more than 5 million printer cartridges and over 71 tonnes of mobile handsets

The Golden Rules of Kerbside Recycling

Check that you are doing the right thing at home by following the Golden Rules of Kerbside Recycling and then share them with colleagues for National Recycling Week (7-13 Nov).