Tips for disposing of packaging as online sales soar

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

The pandemic has seen online shopping become more popular than ever.
In May, Australia Post reported online shopping being 80 per cent up, compared to the same time last year.

The convenience of having your purchase delivered directly to your front door has many benefits, but all the packaging that comes with it isn’t one of them.

We know that in many cases the packaging is unavoidable, but you can email or message the company you’re buying from to see if they use sustainable packaging. It’s a simple way to help keep businesses accountable. Try and support those businesses that are doing the right thing.

Here’s how you can dispose of common packaging:


This can go in your yellow-lid recycling bin. If the box (even when folded down flat) is too big to fit in your recycling bin, you can drop it off for free at our Geelong and Drysdale Resources Recovery Centres.

Shredded paper

Shredded paper can’t go in your recycling bin, as it causes problems by getting mixed up with other recycling materials such as glass and plastics. However, you can put it in a large paper bag or cardboard box and drop it off for free at the Geelong or Drysdale Resource Recovery Centre.

Soft plastics such as bubble wrap and soft parcel packaging

Soft plastics are a strict no for your yellow-lid recycling bin, but you can drop these off at the soft plastic recycling bin at selected supermarkets. Some supermarkets currently aren’t accepting soft plastics, but others are, so check with your local store. Make sure you cut bubble wrap up into A3-sized sheets first.


Avoid polystyrene wherever you can, but it can be dropped off for free at our Geelong Resource Recovery Centre for recycling.

Other tips:

- Ask yourself: can any of the packaging be reused? A cardboard box can equal days of fun for kids.
- Some packaging material says it’s compostable, but this refers to the ability of the packaging to decompose and disintegrate in a commercial composting facility only. If packaging is labelled home compostable, then it can be placed in a home compost bin. Look for the green Australasian Bioplastics Association home composting logo.
- Try to only buy the items you need. Online flash sales can sometimes persuade you to buy things will only end up cluttering your house.
- Ask yourself: do I need to buy brand new? Buy, sell and swap online pages are great places to find a bargain and there’s generally no packaging involved.

Page last updated: Friday, 26 June 2020