Study finds only a third of plastic packaging used in the Southern Hemispheres, Australia is being recycled

Australia, known for the Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, Ayers Rock, the Outback, kangaroos, duck-billed platypuses and more than 25 million people just isn’t doing enough when it comes to recycling plastic packaging.

Australians and visiting tourists use more than 900,000 tonnes of plastic packaging a year. However, a recent study conducted by the University of Technology Sydney and commissioned by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) found that only a third, 300,000 tonnes, was recycled and reused.

Australia’s beaches and marine wildlife will suffer if more plastic waste isn’t recycled

The researchers tracked different kinds of packaging waste in the 2017-18 financial year. It estimated that only 56% of all packaging waste in Australia was recovered and recycled. Of that, 72% of paper packaging was recycled, but only 32% of plastics.

According to the report, Australia was better at recycling other materials with an estimated 72% of aluminium and 54% of metal generally being re-used.

Given that Australian wild and marine life is suffering exponentially due to plastic packaging waste it seems strange that they’re not doing more to reduce the waste produced.

The APCO chief executive, Brooke Donnelly, said “Australia needed to boost its domestic recycling industry and create a circular economy where manufactured goods were consumed, reused and recycled. “

She closed her statement saying “We’re really good at collecting it and sorting it, let’s find more ways to reprocess it here and find domestic solutions.”