Consumers still vague about recycling options, new study shows

A campaign to promote positive recycling behaviours has been launched in response to continuing high levels of waste-stream contamination.

Developed in partnership by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) and Planet Ark (with Commonwealth financial support), the campaign calls on all Australians to check the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) every time they are at the bin so that they recycle their packaging right.

The campaign launch was prompted in part by a recent study that revealed 81 percent of Australians are not confident they recycle everything effectively.

The Community Attitudes to Waste and Recycling study, conducted by Pact Group, also revealed that of those Australians that identify as confident recyclers, one in five (22 percent) admitted that if they were unsure of whether an item could be recycled or not, they would dispose of it in their kerbside recycling bin regardless.

This phenomenon known as ‘’wish-cycling’’ is a major contributor to contamination in the waste stream and valuable materials entering landfill unnecessarily.

The Check It! Before You Chuck It campaign also aims to generate widespread awareness of the ARL, an evidence-based on-pack label that clearly shows Australians how to correctly recycle and dispose of packaging after use.

Check it! Before You Chuck It was developed using principles of behaviour change, and includes an animation featuring a cast of interactive characters who visually demonstrate the positive recycling behaviour of checking the ARL before binning so that it is disposed of correctly and recycled right.

The call to action is reinforced by a catchy song that accompanies the animation and is supported by a suite of creative assets for use on different platforms, including social media.