4 things you didn’t realise CAN be recycled

We all want to do the right thing and recycle as much as possible. However, there is often confusion over what can and can’t be recycled – and rather than run the risk of contaminating the recycling bin with a non-recyclable item, people will sometimes send recyclables to landfill if they’re not sure.

Always check with your local council for what they accept in their recycling program. But, just to clear the air a bit, here we’ve got four things that many people don’t realise can actually be recycled (in most regions).

The plastic window in envelopes

Envelopes can be put into the recycling bin whole.

You don’t have to tear out the little plastic window before you put the envelope into the recycling bin. They can’t be recycled, but most recycling facilities are able to cope with small amounts of incidental contamination. This goes for staples as well.

Plastic bags

Recycle plastic bags through the REDcycle program.

Plastic bags – and other forms of soft plastics – cannot be put into general recycling bins. They are one of the most common forms of contamination and get tangled in the machinery. However, they can be recycled through the REDcycle program. REDcycle with recycle anything from plastic bags to bubble and cling wrap, chip packets, bread bags … any scrunchable plastic you can think of. Simply collect your soft plastics and drop them into the REDcycle collection bins outside most major supermarkets. Check the website to see which supermarkets participate in the program.

Bathroom products (including aerosol cans)

Check where to recycle your beauty products.

Almost all bathroom products – shampoo bottles, cream containers, manual toothbrushes, dental floss containers – can be recycled through normal recycling streams. If you’re stuck on make-up containers and toothpaste tubes, check out TerraCycle. TerraCycle has lots of community-organised recycling initiatives designed to recycle the non-recyclable.

Aerosol cans

Yes – they CAN be recycled.

Now … aerosol cans! Possibly the biggest misconception around recycling in Australia. The can must be empty – but yes, it can definitely go into the general recycling bin.


Information taken from Carbon Track.

Read about 3 things you didn’t realise cannot be recycled, and why sustainability still matters in the midst of COVID-19, on our blog.


Article by Tallis Baker

Planet Friendly Packaging acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land on which we work.

Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by COVID-19. Stay safe.