News, Events and Culture

Plastic Bags no longer accepted in recycling

Wednesday March 19 2014

This includes ALL plastic bags including: shopping bags; bread bags; clothing and retailing plastic bags; food or cling wrap; bubble wrap; frozen vegetable and cereal plastic bags.

Rubbish and recycling asset engineer Natasha Simmons says unfortunately there is no longer an economically viable market for the sale and recycling of plastic bags.

"We have continued to collect them up until now in the hope that the market would bounce back but it just hasn't."

Natasha says after the 28th April 2014, any plastic bags found in recycling bins will result in a friendly reminder that plastic bags are no longer accepted.

From Monday 30th June 2014, any plastic bags found in recycling bins will result in your bin being issued a Contaminated Recycling Bin Strike Notice.

"It's really sad," Natasha said, "we want to be a sustainable city and we want to recycle more and more items, however, presently it is not economic for us to collect plastic bags in our recycling."

There is a plus side however, as it will lead to efficiency gains with staff no longer needing to process the bags at Council's recycling processing centre. There'll also be efficiency gains for the plant machinery as plastic bags can and do clog machinery leading to unscheduled shutdowns. It also means there will far fewer plastic bags scattered by windy conditions.

"The best option for residents is to buy some cloth bags that are on sale at various retailers. These are a sustainable option for residents as they can be reused, reducing our reliance on plastic and oil-based products."

Natasha says if recycling of plastic bags becomes economic again Council will consider reintroducing the service.

"Remember, please do not place recyclables inside plastic bags - leave your recyclables loose instead."