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Australia Post to recycle plastic mail satchels

Should more companies be taking responsibility for waste?

australia post
Last updated: 26 February 2016

This article mentions the RedCycle soft plastics recycling program, which is no longer running. Check with your local council to see what options are available for soft plastic recycling in your area.

Australia Post announced this week a national recycling program for used plastic mail satchels that will hopefully reduce the amount of satchels reaching landfill.

The national postal service provider says the free program will see used satchels sent on to waste solutions company TerraCycle for processing into items like esky liners and plastic garden furniture.

This is good news for online consumers, particularly as more and more people turn to online shopping, and the plastic carry bag is swapped for a mail satchel. But just like plastic bags, many local councils are unable to recycle mail satchels through their kerbside collections, meaning they ultimately end up in the waste pile after a single use.

Now the program is underway, consumers can box up old satchels, download a label from the TerraCycle website, and drop them into any Australia Post outlet.

Surprising recycling

With many companies stepping up to take responsibility for the waste their products and packaging create, there's a growing list of items that can now be recycled outside of local council recycling programs.


Colgate has set up a program to recycle any brand of used toothbrush, toothpaste tubes, dental floss casings and any affiliated packaging that can't go into your kerbside recycling bin.

Plastic bags and wrappers

REDcycle is another recycling program that diverts soft plastics like plastic bags and wrappers from landfill, and can be accessed at over 500 Coles and Woolworths stores across the country.


There are also national recycling programs for mobile phones and electronic equipment, including old computers and televisions.


You can deposit AA, AAA, C, D and 9-volt batteries at any Aldi store. IKEA also accept used household batteries (and light globes and cardboard packaging too), while Battery World also offer drop-off points at their stores – although call ahead first, as we've had reports that not all stores accept used batteries.

Other household items

TerraCycle also recycle plastic nozzles and triggers from any brand of cleaning, beauty and laundry products, as well as Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee pods, and even cigarette butts.

Long way to go for excess packaging

While some companies are taking responsibility for the waste their products create, there's still a long way to go. Excess packaging is still a bugbear for many consumers and it can lead to some pretty exorbitant delivery costs, as we found in our review of international freight-forwarding services.

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Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.