Understanding the ARL

The Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) provides clear and easy instructions on what bin to sort your packaging in.  Following the ARL makes sure kitchen, bathroom and laundry packaging are disposed of correctly, increasing the chance of materials being recovered and turned into new products. 

How does it work? 


There are 4 types of label classifications:

  1. Recyclable: The black recycling symbol means this piece of packaging can be placed in the recycling bin as it is. Each piece of packaging with this label has to be placed separately in the recycling bin.
  2. Conditionally recyclable: The white recycling symbol means you must follow the instructions to recycle this packaging part. If you don't follow the instructions it has to go in the general waste bin, otherwise it will not be recycled and will contaminate the recycling stream.
  3. Not recyclable: The bin symbol means that this piece of packaging is not recyclable and you must put it in the general waste bin. Do not place in your recycling bin.
  4. Check locally: The geotag symbol means this item may be recyclable at kerbside or other locations recognised as alternative destinations. 

Why do we need it?

There are many 'recycling' symbols that can be confusing and don't necessarily explain how to recycle. For example, the Plastic Identification Code is a symbol made up of triangular arrows with a number 1 to 7.


Although it may look like a recycling symbol, the numbers are actually used to identify the type of plastic the item is made from. They are not a recycling labels and they do not mean the item can be recycled.

Different plastic types can used to make both recyclable and non-recyclable items, so don't rely on the numbers to decide if something can go in your recycling bin! Instead, use the interactive local recycling tool on the ARL website to check recyclability options in your area and the tips above to help you identify if an item is recyclable or not.