Plastic Recycling

Every day, Australians buy and use products that are made of plastic.

The production of new plastic products requires oil, gas and coal, and emits greenhouse gases which contributes to climate change. It also contaminates our oceans, killing millions of marine animals every year.

Recycling plastic saves energy, wildlife and the environment.

Facts about Plastic


tonnes of plastic is produced globally every year 
of the waste floating in the ocean is made of plastic
seabirds killed by plastic waste every year 
Plastic categories

Identifying different types of plastic

Plastic can be separated into two categories: Hard and Soft.


SUEZ can assist in the identification and assessment of all plastic types and provide advice on recycling and resource recovery options for plastic waste generated by your business.


In Australia, you can identify most plastics through the use of the Plastics Identification Code. This code makes it easier for reprocessors to identify and separate used plastics for a range of new applications.

Hard Plastic

What is hard plastic?

Hard plastics are items that are rigid. They will be difficult to bend or “scrunch” and might even crack if you apply too much force.


Types of hard plastic:

  • Plastic bottles
  • Milk & juice containers
  • PET packaging
  • PET drink containers & crates


Acceptance criteria vary across States and Territories.

Where does hard plastic go?


Hard plastic gets put in dedicated plastic waste bins (orange lids and signage) or co-mingled recycling bins (yellow lids and signage). Soft plastics are not allowed in these bins.

Soft plastic

What is soft plastic?

Soft plastics can be easily identified by doing the “scrunch test”. If you can easily “scrunch” the item into a ball then it can be identified as soft plastic.


Types of soft plastic:

  • Shrink-wrap
  • Bubble-wrap
  • Plastic bags


Acceptance criteria varies across States and Territories.


Where does soft plastic go?


Soft plastic goes in specially designed bale containers.


How to recycle plastic

Plastic is sent to one of our resource recovery centres  or material recycling facility where it is screened, decontaminated, sorted and baled.


Baled plastics are sent to manufacturers


Soft and are processed and pelletised into granules for transport to manufacturing industries.


What happens to plastic?