Plastic

Plastic pollutes at every step of its life, from extraction and production, to consumption and disposal. The best way to help solve the global plastic problem, is to refuse to use it.  

Coloured plastic bags

Australia produces almost 3 million tonnes of plastic per year, of which less than 9% is recycled.

Globally, up to 130,000 tonnes of plastic winds up in the ocean each year and studies predict that oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050 unless we take radical action. Plastics never fully degrade, but break down into micro-plastic which contaminates soil and the marine environment. 

Soft plastic recycling

Coles and Woolworths offer a free soft plastic recycling service through REDCycle. Many Foodland supermarkets offer a similar service. If you would like to start your own collection in your office, please take it to a local REDCycle collection near you. 

Plastic number codes

All plastic can be recycled, but not without major effort and sometimes, not through a regular recycling service. Generally speaking:

  • Hard plastic household items can be recycled in the yellow bin.
  • Soft plastics can be recycled through RedCycle or a similar service.
  • Polystyrene must be recycled through a specialist service.

The numbered triangle on plastic products identifies the type of plastic or resin, not whether an item is recyclable. Both hard and soft plastic items can be made with the same numbered resin, and items can be made with the same resin that are both easily recyclable (e.g. butter container) and difficult to recycle (e.g. polystyrene container).

Read more about plastic number codes and ideas on how you can reduce single-use plastic.

Table of products made from recycled materials

What you can do

  • Eat in, rather than getting takeaway.
  • Go without a straw, unless it’s paper.
  • BYO reusable water bottle and fill up at a water refill station on campus.
  • Refuse single-use plastic cutlery and challenge retailers and café owners to provide an alternative.
  • BYO KeepCup or use a mug from the Hub Central Mug Wall.
  • Stop using plastic produce bags. Use a paper mushroom bag or reusable bag instead.
  • Pack a waste free lunch.
  • Choose to buy recycled products.