Plastic Recycling Code – Which Plastic Codes Can Be Recycled in Australia

The varying recycling codes on plastics can be confusing. One would assume that if the plastic waste has a plastic recycling code on it then it should go in your recycling bin right? sadly wrong. In Australia, most councils only accept codes 1, 2 and 5.

That is the bad news. The good news is that this has been improving. Victoria uses KS Environmental which not only takes all the codes below but also accepts plastic bottle caps.

Call for Action

Please check with your local council about what plastic recycling codes they accept and if they don’t accept all types, push for change.

Also see articles on how to recycle soft plastics (which don’t have a plastic recycling code) and plastic alternatives.

Plastic Recycle Codes

For a list of all the codes and what they mean please see below.

Recycle Code

Plastic Name

Common Household Items

PET and PETE – polyethylene terephthalate

Soft-drink bottles, containers for food and other consumer products, water bottles, peanut butter jars

HDPE- high density polyethylene

Milk and juice bottles, dishwashing and laundry detergent, grocery bags

PVC – polyvinyl chloride

Bottles, food trays, rigid sheets used for packaging, electrical insulation, irrigation pipes

LDPE – low-density polyethylene

Squeeze bottles, wire insulation, grocery bags, trash bags, food storage bags

PP – polypropylene

Fruit and vegetable packages, bottle caps, drinking straws (telltale sign: cloudy appearance)

PS – polystyrene

Packaging, CD covers, Styrofoam, egg cartons, packing “peanuts,” plastic tableware, carryout containers

A combination of plastics, or none of the above

Items already made from recycled goods, semi-rigid food storage, drinking cups

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