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Wishing our waste away

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New research shows Australians are a nation of ‘wishcyclers’ as more than half of us (51%) admit to putting waste in a recycling bin even if we’re not sure it’s recyclable.

According to research from Nestlé, a third (34%) of people think it’s better to put all waste in the recycling bin than in the rubbish, while one in five (19%) believe materials in the recycling bin will all get sorted correctly once it is collected. 

Nestlé Corporate Affairs Head Margaret Stuart said despite the good intentions of wishcyclers, these actions can have significant consequences.

“Our research shows that 98% of people agree that recycling is something we all should do. 

“However, if we’re not recycling right it can be quite problematic. Wishcycling can lead to genuinely recyclable materials being so contaminated that they end up sent to landfill, resulting in a lost opportunity for the waste to be turned into a resource.”

The study also reveals another cause for concern: over-confidence. 67% of people claim to be very confident on how to recycle right, yet 87% are unwittingly putting one or more non-recyclable item in their recycling bin.

Ms Stuart continued, “We understand that consumers find recycling confusing, which is why we want to help people to remember to recycle – and to recycle right.  

“Be sure to check for the Australasian Recycling Label, which provides on pack guidance on which bin to recycle in. It also provides any additional instructions, such as scrunching, rinsing, flattening, to ensure the material is recycled properly.”

The research showed that 85% of Aussies agree that the Australasian Recycling Label is key to recycling right, providing clear guidance on how to recycle. 

Top tips to remember to recycle right:
•    Check it before you chuck it: always look for the Australasian Recycling Label to know which bin to recycle in
•    Drop off soft plastics: collect soft plastics and drop them instore at a REDcycle collection point, available in most Woolworths and Coles 
•    If in doubt, chuck it out: while it may seem counterintuitive, if you’re unsure if something is recyclable, put it in the rubbish bin. 

Nestlé is committed to rolling out the Australasian Recycling Label on all locally made products to help consumers know how to recycle right. Nestlé is committed to making 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.  

For more information on the Australasian Recycling Label visit: