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Plastics Recycling

Mechanical recycling is the main method used in Australia to recover the valuable material and energy inputs from used plastics. Products are collected from a variety of domestic kerbside, commercial, industrial, agricultural and other markets, cleaned, granulated and the recyclate resins remanufactured into a wide range of new products.

It is important that recyclers know which main types of plastics they are collecting and re-processing. Each type of polymer has particular properties in the same way that steel or copper are different or balsa wood and Eucalyptus are used for different tasks. The Plastics Identification Code is a coding system managed by PACIA to identify the type of polymer a product is manufactured from. While the 1 to 7 numbered symbols are not meant to specify if a product is recyclable, this system greatly improves Australian recycling outcomes.
Mechanical recycling of plastic products saves both the virgin raw materials and energy needed to manufacture products. Recycled plastics are used in a variety of applications and help save not only virgin plastics, but also substitute products traditionally made from timber, concrete and other materials.

PACIA produces an annual National Plastics Recycling Survey which records and reports on the consumption and recycling of plastics in Australia.

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