Plastic fantastic for recycling, but get it right

Ipswich City Council wants residents to feel fantastic about plastic recycling.

Plastic is one of the first items mentioned in any discussions about recyclables, but it is the one aspect residents are most confused about, according to recent feedback.

Works, Parks and Sport Committee Acting Chairperson Cr David Morrison said there were many variations in terms of plastic – however the key word was “rigid”.

Rigid plastics refer to plastics that are relatively inflexible, like milk bottles, and are not easily broken, like harder plastics, such as CD cases.

“There are undoubtedly many different types of plastic … bottles, containers, tub, packages, wrapping and especially bags,” he said.

“Our new 12-month contract with Visy Recycling specifies rigid plastic. Definitely not soft and flexible plastics like plastic bags, cling wrap, the inner plastic packaging for biscuits, frozen vegetable packets.

“In theory, all plastics can be recycled, but Australia has not set up manufacturing to recycle the softer flexible plastics, like strawberry/fruit and vegetable punnet containers – so Visy doesn’t want it.”

Cr Morrison said crucial to council’s new Recycle 4 recycling campaign – targeting four specific types of materials to put in the yellow top bin – was getting contamination rates down from 50 per cent to under 15 per cent.

“We are trying to make it easier for recycling so that we can all work towards getting under 15 per cent contamination for the city,” he said.

Acceptable plastic for recycling includes:

Milk bottles, soft drink bottles, cordial bottles, shampoo bottles, cleaning product bottles, hair care product containers, liquid soap and moisturiser pump packs, , cooking oil containers, ice cream containers with lid on, juice bottles, margarine containers with lid on, sauce bottles, salad dressing bottles, yoghurt tubs.

Items that aren’t acceptable include:

CD cases, chip packets, disposable razors, plastic strapping, toothpaste tubes, polystyrene meat trays, plastic bags, cling wrap, or soft plastic food packaging, fruit/ veg punnets and meat trays.

Cr Morrison said this meant not putting in some materials that might previously have gone into the recycling yellow top bin, such as the soft or semi rigid plastics. They should, for the moment, be put in the general waste bin.

“You can do the scrunch test to see if the plastic is soft – squeeze it in your hand and if it balls up easily, it does not go into the yellow top bin. If you are a keen recycler, you can collect and drop off these soft plastics at some RedCycle stations set up at some Coles and Woolworths supermarkets in Ipswich,” he said.

For further information, visit:

Also check out the Ipswich Bin App and to learn more about council’s new recycling program head to or phone 3810 6666.

Spread the word on the right way to recycle


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