What happens to the plastic we put in our recycling bins?
In WA, most of us use recycling bins to separate out our plastic, paper, metal and glass from our food scraps and other waste. The recycling truck comes along to collect it all every fortnight, but then what happens?
You might assume that if you put a plastic water bottle into a recycling bin, it's being recycled and turned back into a new water bottle. Sadly, this is not the case. Currently, there is no plastic reprocessing in WA, and only one plastic reprocessing plant in the rest of Australia (that we know of). So what happens to WA's plastic? It's not economically viable for us to send our plastic to the Eastern States for recycling, nor do they want it because they get enough plastic as it is. What really happens is our plastics are bailed up by the tonne and sold to overseas markets where 98-99% of it is burned for fuel, and only 1-2% gets recycled.