The grim truth about recycling


A short documentary feature from 60 Minutes Australia highlights the problems being caused by our reliance on exporting materials from ‘recycling’ collections


According to the broadcaster, there is no doubt Australia is one of the most wasteful nations in the world, so the practice of recycling helps to lessen its guilt.

“As we drag our bins out for collection each week, we feel like we’re helping the environment. But the reality is that we’re all being conned. Right now, Australia is stuck in an unsightly and worsening recycling crisis. What is being done with plastic waste, the material most people think would be easy to salvage and reuse, is of the greatest concern,” said the reporters.

As Liam Bartlett discovers, most of it ends up either being buried or worse – exported to countries like Malaysia, a place we are now treating like a garbage bin. There he finds mountains of illegally “imported plastic rubbish from overseas – from Australia and New Zealand,” says one of the locals.

“What is called recycling isn’t recycling at all. Household rubbish is helping fuel a criminal underworld in plastic recycling.”