Recycling confusion really is a thing.

While many of us think we are doing the right thing by separating cardboard from other waste, it turns out we may be doing more harm than good.

When it comes to recycling bins with yellow lids, people must be mindful of the types of plastics that can and can’t be thrown in, according to Daily Mail.

For example:

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Tissue boxes – The soft plastic on tissue boxes must be removed and thrown in a REDCycle bin, while the cardboard can be flattened and put in a yellow bin.

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Coffee cups – Coffee cup lids will need to be washed and separated from their body before they’re tossed into a yellow bin, with the cup unable to be recycled because of its lining.

coffee cup

Wine bottles -You need to rinse and remove lids before ditching the bottles, but take note both compartments can be thrown in the yellow bin.

mum wine getty

Plastic bottles – Caps should also be removed from plastic bottles before they hit the yellow bin, and the small ring around the bottleneck should be cut to avoid it endangering animal lives down the track.

Pizza boxes – People who usually toss pizza boxes straight into a yellow bin should re-evaluate their habits, with scraps not only making for a smelly bin but also contaminating entire loads of recycling.

Jayne Paramor from national environmental group, The Boomerang Alliance said, ‘What I usually do with my pizza boxes is rip off the part with leftover toppings still stuck to it, throw it in garbage bin and the other half in recycling,’ she told

Mccain Supreme Pizza

My nine year old was only telling me about the coffee cups last night. I had no idea! He told me if it can hold water then it has a coating on it and should not be recycled. Same as party cups. Smart boy!

Share your tips below.


  • I think things need to be made clearer about exactly what can and can’t be recycled. I didn’t know about the coffee cups until I saw an advert on the tv. They also tell us not to waste water but you need to do more than just wash things before putting things in to recycle.


  • I do think we need a new list as I didn’t know about the cups


  • Does anyone else see the employment opportunities that would be created if we just chuck everything in one bin and let professionals sort it out properly? More would be recycled and there would be less recyclables going to land fill because of contamination.


  • It is absolutely so confusing. I try my best, I really do, and if I’m unsure it goes into garbage to avoid contaminating the recycling. But, just reading this article has shocked me. Tissue Boxes! I always recycle but never remove the plastic. Seriously? I had no idea. And if I have to spend all my time washing things before recycling, imagine my water bill. I assumed that as part of the recycling service things were given a good wash. Now I’m really worried and even more confused.


  • There is a great graphic provided by Planet Ark here on how your pizza boxes should look for recycling:


  • After reading this list of what things are recycalable think that I need a list to stick to my garbage recycle bin. Did not know lot of facts., so taking list but would be great for stick on lable for bins thank you

    • We stick lists on the fridge and on the bins too – it really is a good idea.


  • Didn’t realize about the tissue boxes – I will be more vigilant in future. Don’t use any of the other things mentioned on here.


  • I didn’t know about the coffee cups and lids and ring of plastic bottles either !! Good to know.


  • Wow I did not know this! Here I am thinking I’m doing an awesome job recycling but I’m doing it wrong. Good article!


  • Households should get the free do’s and don’ts each year for their bins. Maybe get the lists from your local authority? I laminate and place lists on the fridge for ready reference.


  • I thought I heard recently that pizza boxes are acceptable. I now know I have to remove any part that food has touched.


  • I make the mistake with the tissue boxes. I didn’t know that.


  • I didn’t know about the tissues!


  • I’ve know about the coffee cups for quite sometime. That’s why I have a keep cup now :)


  • It’s really hard to keep up – Im sure some of this advice was different in the past.


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