Pre-cycle first, recycle next

Pre-cycle your way to a packaging-free life.

Banning single use plastic bags has had a positive impact according to the National Retail Association, with Australia’s plastic bag use dropping 80% in just three months – that’s 1.5 billion fewer bags in landfill. 

But what about the plastic and packaging found in the supermarket isle? 

Pre-cycling is about avoiding items that will generate waste when you shop (such as veggies wrapped in plastic or single-use plastic) and actively choosing items that can be reused or recycled. Not only will pre-cycling reduce your household waste, it will help reduce the energy and resources needed to recycle waste into reusable paper pulp, plastic and glass.

Only use reusable products

One way to pre-cycle is avoiding all single use products. Investing in an enviro drink bottle, taking a keep cup to your local café, and swapping gladwrap for reusable beeswax wraps are simple ways to get started.

Look for ‘naked’ products

Environmentally-conscious retailers such as Lush now offer package-free, solid shampoo and conditioner bars and makeup alongside their recycled plastic bottle counterparts.

Other traditionally liquids products including toothpaste, mouthwash, makeup, deodorant and bubble bath are also available packaging free. ‘Naked’ products are also convenient for international travel, with no liquid allowance to worry about.

Make it green

If you must use packaging, buy products packed in recycled wrapping where possible.

Plant Ark’s Recycled Product Directory makes it easy to search for products made from and packaged in recycled materials. Buying recycled also helps support businesses that have made a commitment to the environment.

Shop at farmers markets

Supermarkets tend to encase everything in single-use plastics and unnecessary packaging. Not only is shopping at farmers markets cheaper than the supermarket, it gives back to the local community and you can also bring your own containers, bags and wraps.

Recycle properly

Not sure if something can be recycled? You’re not alone. Brisbane City Council have created the Brisbane Bin and Recycling app and Recycling Guide for Households to help identify and correctly recycle household items. Planet Ark operate a Recycling Hotline to answer your tricky recycling questions.