Can You Recycle It? Determining the Reusability of Common Packaging Materials

At Bang Packaging, we take it upon ourselves to ensure environmental responsibility with every packaging product we manufacture. But that does not mean that other companies do the same. Although you can recycle and/or repurpose every single one of our packaging products, there are some materials you cannot do so with.

In order to limit the amount of waste you are sending to the bin, it pays to do some research before buying a product to see how easily recyclable their packaging is. We’ve compiled a list of the most common packaging products in Australia along with whether or not these materials can be recycled.*

*We are working within the framework of general recycling guidelines within Australia. If you live elsewhere, please consult with your local council.

Paper and Cardboard- Paper products are one of the best packaging materials because they are durable yet easily recyclable. They can be reused for new paper products or compressed into fibreboard.

Soft Plastic and PVC (Vinyl)- Despite commonly held belief, soft plastics like those used for chip or newspaper bags can be recycled in Australia. However, they typically cannot be recycled out of home. Instead, they must be taken to a soft plastic recycling facility (often found at such companies like Amcor Plastics or Cryogrind). These companies grind the soft plastics into harder pallets that are then reused in harder rigid plastic products.

Hard Plastic- Hard plastic packaging (like PVC and polypropylene) can potentially be reused if you don’t have to cut through it to get to the product inside. However, it is also traditionally recyclable and can be used for a variety of products, from garden hoses to outdoor furniture. Polypropylene is highly recyclable and can be reused in high grade polypropylene packaging.

Polystyrene (styrofoam)- This material cannot usually be recycled, and is best to be avoided. If you do happen to collect an excessive amount of it, it might be worth consulting with a specialty company who specifically recycles polystyrene.

Tin- Tin can be recycled, although tins that contained food items should be rinsed out first. Tin packaging is also a great item to repurpose. Tin canisters can be used for pot plants, as pencil or kitchen utensil holders or for storage. Tin boxes with lids make great jewelry storage, secondhand gift boxes or can even be nice as decoration (especially if they have an attractive design).

As you can see, most widely used packaging materials can be recycled in one way or another, but some are obviously easier to manage than others.

If you never want to worry about the recyclability of your own product packaging, then rely upon our products for an earth-conscious choice. And if you are a consumer looking to reduce your impact on the earth, consider the list above and make your purchasing decision accordingly.

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