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Solving our recycling dilemmas

Australians and recycling:
attitudes, behaviours and outlook

Cleanaway, Australia’s largest waste management company, is committed to reducing emissions across its business. In addition, it is educating Australians about how we can improve recycling levels and reduce landfill waste and emissions. Its online education platform, Greenius, is backed by the findings of its 2021, 2022 and 2023 Recycling Behaviours Reports, which explore Australia’s changing attitudes and behaviours around recycling.

About this report

Greenius and the Recycling Behaviours Reports

Greenius and the Recycling Behaviours Reports were developed by Cleanaway with support from the CEFC.

Recycling behaviours report, April 2023

Recycling behaviours report, April 2022

Recycling behaviours report, April 2021


The CEFC has worked with Cleanaway since 2017 to finance technologies and solutions to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, a critical element of our transition to a net zero emissions economy by 2050. We are pleased to have contributed to the development of these important materials to help us become better at recycling.

about the industry

Waste management market solutions

  • An efficient and robust recycling system that supports a circular economy is based on consumer trust and cooperation, efficient recycling infrastructure and the reuse of materials in product design and manufacture.
  • Increasing education and improving understanding about the state of recycling in Australia can help us lower emissions by taking action to positively change consumer behaviour.

report findings

Market insights

Recycling Behaviours Report 2023

Australians faced with the rising cost of living are adopting more sustainable and circular economy behaviours.

  • Eight in 10 Australians are opting to repair rather than replace items and six in 10 are buying second-hand to save money.
  • While 78 per cent of Australians rate themselves as good or very good recyclers, more than a third don’t regularly take the right steps to ensure their items are recyclable. 

Recycling Behaviours Report 2022

Report shows pandemic gave Australians time to rethink recycling

  • During the pandemic, 41 per cent of Australians have become more concerned about the environment, with 42 per cent more conscious of their household waste
  • While 34 per cent of Australians still find recycling confusing, 22 per cent are now familiar with the idea of a circular economy, 29 per cent are correctly disposing of soft plastics via specialised recycling, and 53 per cent seek items with minimal packaging when shopping in store

Recycling Behaviours Report 2021

Australians are keen on a more sustainable future, but they remain confused about fundamental recycling practices

  • While 89 per cent of Australians believe recycling is important, only 25 per cent are doing it correctly
  • As much as 35 per cent of valuable material is going to landfill due to inaccurate recycling practices


Learning about the small everyday actions with lasting benefits

  • Greenius, Cleanaway’s e-learning platform, was developed to make recycling easy for households and everyday consumers and to strengthen understanding about Australia’s recycling system
  • The e-learning platform takes users on a recycling journey through gamification, videos, animations and quizzes, and is easily accessed via mobile device or desktop
Last updated April 2022. Waste/bioenergy, Market reports
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