Often there is a little triangle with a number stamped or printed onto plastic products. This is the Plastics Identification Code (PIC) and it tells you the type of plastic used to make a product.
The triangle looks a bit like a recycling symbol and so it’s easy to think that anything with a PIC can be recycled, and technically they can, just not always through your kerbside recycling bin.
As a general rule, don’t put soft plastics in your kerbside recycling bin.
Only hard plastics that can’t be ‘scrunched’ such as plastic bottles, plastic jars, plastic plates etc can be recycled through your kerbside service.
Be a good sort and keep these out of your kerbside recycling bin:
Plastic shopping bags, Cling wrap, Plastic bread bags, Chip packets, Bubble wrap, Cereal bags, Plastic foil food bags, and Zip-lock bags. Soft plastic polystyrene and foam meat trays can also NOT be recycled in your kerbside bin.
So what can be done with soft plastics?
Most major supermarkets have collection points for plastic bags. It’s also a good idea to reuse bags as many times as possible by taking them with you when you go shopping.
Some charity shops also appreciate a donation of plastic bags to use when distributing goods or when selling items in their stores.
In North and North West Tasmania, the Launceston Waste Centre also accepts soft plastics for recycling, as does the Burnie and Port Sorell Waste Transfer Stations.
Waste silage wrap plastic can be safely disposed at the Sheffield Waste Transfer Station. You can also arrange collection of unwanted silage wrap from farms in Northern Tasmania by contacting Envorinex.
Want to know more about plastics and the PIC? Check out the Rethink Waste Plastics Identification Code fact sheet.
Another handy resource is the A-Z Guide of Recycling and Waste, which lets you know how to manage different waste products, from aerosol cans to yoghurt containers and everything in between!