If you follow our social media, you’ll know that this topic caused quite a stir when we posted about it the other week! Do you know what the most recycled material in Australia is?


Let’s count down, starting from the sixth most recycled material we produce and use here in Australia.

Number Six 

So many of us, including some of our Eco Pen Club staff, always thought that plastic was the most recycled material here. There is such a spotlight on this topic, reusing old shopping bags, recycling and even banishing plastic straws- it made sense that plastic took the number one spot, right?


Plastic is actually one of the least recycled materials in Australia! In fact, currently, only 9% of plastic is recycled! Isn’t that horrendously low? There is so much room for improvement here.

Number Five

Newspapers take the second lowest spot on our list, with 67% of newspapers being recycled. Although this is much better than a measly 9%, there is still ample room to improve here. Did you know that just recycling one run of the Sunday New York Times (equivalent to the Sydney Morning Herald) could save approximately the equivalent of 75,000 trees?

Let that sink in.

Number Four

Aluminium is the fourth most recycled material in Australia, thanks to it being both recycled in residential homes, and commercially! Who would have thought?

Number Three

Cardboard takes third place on our list with 67.5% of it being recycled. Did you know that cardboard can be recycled up to seven times? Isn’t that amazing? Seven times!

Number Two

Second place on our list goes to a huge Aussie industry favourite: steel. Around 89% of all Aussie steel ends up being recycled, which is absolutely incredible.

First Place!

And for first place on our list (no cheating, those of you who’ve seen the IG post) : concrete! Yes, actually, concrete. Around 90% of all Australian concrete is recycled, which is absolutely incredible. In terms of actual weight, this is about 140 million tons each and every year. 

So, there you have it- the top 6 most recycled materials in Australia. Surprised? So were we!