Reduce Reuse Recycle

So, what can you do with empty meat tray packaging?

If you're wondering whether your supermarket meat tray packaging can go into your yellow top recycling bin, we're afraid the answer is a resounding 'NO!' So, what can you do instead?

February 19, 2024

Due to the contamination of meat trays and the mixture of materials used to make them, they must be placed in your general waste bin and are destined for landfill - even if they've been washed and are clean of any residue.

So, currently the only course of action to prevent all this packaging from going to landfill is to avoid or reduce our use - and there are a few things you can do:

  • Opt for meat from local butchers or markets that use environmentally friendly packaging options, such as paper. Many local and sustainable food vendors prioritise eco-friendly packaging as part of their commitment to reducing environmental impact.

  • Some butchers and supermarket meat counters allow customers to bring their own containers for packaging meat purchases. Reusable containers, such as glass or stainless steel, offer a sustainable alternative to single-use packaging. It’s a good idea to check with your chosen butcher that they are happy for you to BYO containers.

  • Support those butchers and supermarkets that are cutting out excessive packaging.

  • Easy ways to eat a little less meat

Let's face it - prepackaged meat is extremely convenient - and if you can't or don't want to give it up (no judgement here) there are ways to minimise the plastic packaging problem.

  • Avoid single bits of meat in lots of packaging – buy larger quantities (often in the same amount of packaging as a single piece) and put it into separate reusable containers when you get home.

  • Consider purchasing even larger quantities from butchers or bulk suppliers. This reduces the amount of individual packaging needed per serving and often results in less overall plastic waste.

You may have seen some cardboard meat trays with a plastic covering popping up in some supermarkets, so we asked Recycle Right WA for some clarification and if the cardboard component can go into the recycling bin or FOGO bin (minus the plastic). The advice we received is that currently, this type of packaging must also go into the general waste bin.

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