We’ve been counting down the top 3 items incorrectly placed in our household, kerbside recycling bins and today we’ve finally reached the end of our journey. Do you remember where we started? That’s right, coffee cups (number 3), food scraps (number 2). What item do you think is our main problem in the Cairns region? Well if you guessed plastic bags, you’re completely right.
Number 1: Soft Plastic Bags
Staff at the Materials Recovery Facility still continue to see large amounts of shopping bags, bin liners, even the latest so called ‘reusable’ soft plastic bags appearing mixed through our recyclables. Many well-meaning residents bag their recyclables, thinking they are helping, but unfortunately this material can’t be processed and their efforts are wasted.
Soft plastics can’t be recycled through Cairns Regional Council systems, but there are a number of drop off points at local shopping centres where these items (such as shopping bags, pasta and rice bags, biscuit packets, cereal box liners, frozen food and veggie bags) can be deposited for reprocessing through alternative programs. One such program is known as Redcycle Coles & Woolworth stores across Cairns have receptacles for receiving these soft plastics (nearby their checkouts). Make sure to ask your local store to confirm where you can place returned material in their store.
Committing to advoiding and reducing our use of soft plastics is the most important action we can take. Let’s remember our resuable bags when visiting the shops, select grocery items with less packaging, not use bin liners, remove cling wrap from our lunches and work together with people all over Cairns making a difference.
To reconfirm acceptable items for Cairns Regional Council kerbside recycling bins please view our recycleright page.
Thank you so much for reading.
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