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National Recycling Week

Up to 80% of Australians don’t realise the value of recycling to the national economy – approximately $15.5 billion[1] – compared to just 8% who do, according to new research released for Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week.

Planet Ark urges Australians to go beyond the bin this week.

Planet Ark also found that while around 3 in 4 Australians are concerned or very concerned about waste, our motivations differ. For the older generation, reducing landfill resonated more significantly than the rest of the population while younger Australians were more motivated by the potential of reuse to combat environmental harm and save wildlife.

The new data comes as part of Planet Ark’s project, returning in 2020 from 9-15 November with the theme “Recovery – A Future Beyond the Bin.” The campaign aims to highlight the important role resource recovery can occupy in our economic and societal recovery and the need to shift perceptions of waste to recognise its resource value.

Environmental and Economic

“Recycling is valuable both environmentally and economically, and is more important than ever in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The majority of councils we surveyed reported increased volumes of general waste in kerbside bins as a result of COVID-19,” said Planet Ark Deputy CEO Rebecca Gilling.

“The pandemic has challenged the way we live, work and interact with the world around us and has offered us the chance to build a better future. We know that it is critical that recycling and resource recovery are a part of this. We want to encourage Australians to play their part in a creating a future beyond the bin.”

25 Year History

Now in its 25th year, National Recycling Week provides an important opportunity for councils, workplaces, schools and individuals to strengthen their knowledge, improve reuse habits and build trust in the process. A special focus this year is being paid to packaging, food and electronics, three of the most problematic waste streams in Australia with the greatest potential for improved resource recovery.

As well as new research, Planet Ark has also released a new Resource Hub, the action-based “A Future Beyond the Bin” mini guide and many other fun and educational activities and online events. These free resources aim to help Australians take recycling into their own hands at home, work and school.

Waste is Inefficiency

“What we call waste is a sign of inefficiency. Every Australian can own their impact and help make resource recovery part of our country or state’s economic recovery,” said Planet Ark’s Head of Circular Economy Programs Ryan Collins.

“The Future Beyond the Bin mini guide has been created to provide 6 easy steps to resource recovery, such as buying products or packaging with recycled content, getting into composting or recycling that old mobile phone.”

National Recycling Week is made possible by Major Sponsor Coca-Cola Australia, Associate Sponsors MobileMuster, Australasian Recycling Label and Cartridges 4 Planet Ark, and Supporting Sponsors Tetra Pak and Unilever.

To learn more or get involved, visit

value of recycling week. Planet Ark promo image.

The value of recycling. Planet Ark promo image.

Research Report

To read the Research Report in full, visit:

Activities and Events

About Planet Ark

Planet Ark Environmental Foundation is an Australian not-for-profit environmental organisation that was founded in 1992. We create simple, powerful and positive actions that help people, governments and businesses reduce their impact on the environment. Our vision is to create a future where people live in balance with nature.

About National Recycling Week

Planet Ark’s National Week, founded in 1996, highlights the environmental benefits of re-use and recycling programs, while making participation enjoyable and easy through community events and programs. The dates for National Recycle Week in 2020 are Monday 9 to Sunday 15 November 2020.

For further information, interviews or images please contact:

Liam TaylorLucy Jones
Communications ManagerCommunications Coordinator
[email protected][email protected]
0449 530 525

[1] Source: Centre for International Economics (2017) Headline Economic Value for Waste and Materials Efficiency in Australia, prepared for the Department of the Environment and Energy