Recycle loose, not in bags

By Our Reporter

We can all make a difference to make the most from our recycling

A new Victorian Government campaign is encouraging Victorians to put their recycling in the bin loose, not in bags, to reduce contamination so that more of it can be turned into new products.

“Recycling items loose and not in bags is a simple step that all Victorians can take so more recyclables can be turned into new products”, explains Claire Ferres Miles, CEO Sustainability Victoria.

Contamination happens when items which can’t be recycled are put in the recycling bin. These contaminants prevent recycling from being processed. One simple action everyone can take to help reduce contamination is placing their recycling in the bin loose, not in bags.

Plastic bags holding recycling are one of the most common contaminants found in household recycling bins. Research shows that 17 per cent of Victorians collect their recyclable items in a bag and then place their bagged recycling in the bin.

When recyclable items are placed in a plastic bag, they can’t be sorted and processed. The plastic bags can get caught in the machines and damage equipment at the Material Recovery Facilities. Recycling in bags also presents a health and safety risk to staff who manually sort recycling as the content of the bag is not visible and may include sharp objects.

This is one of a series of planned campaigns that Sustainability Victoria will deliver as part of the Victorian Government’s $380 million investment in Recycling Victoria: A new economy, a plan to build a circular economy by reducing waste and making more productive use of our resources.

By ensuring that our recycling always goes in the bin loose, we can all help create a more sustainable future.

For more information and recycling tips, visit

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