TikToker reveals 3 most common Aussie recycling mistakes

An educational TikTok video is taking the internet by storm, by exposing the top three mistakes Aussies make when recycling.

The 14 second viral video was posted by sustainability TikToker, recycling business owner and environmental activist Lottie Dalziel (@lottiedalziel).

“Here are the three most common mistakes Australians make when it comes to recycling,” she tells her 37,700 followers.

Stills from sustainability TikTok showing yellow lid bin with waste in it. Source: TikTok/@lottiedalziel
Ms Dalziel joked in the comments that she has been educating her neighbours on their recycling habits as well. Source: TikTok/@lottiedalziel

“The first is putting all of their recycling items in a plastic bag in the recycling bin, do not do this,” she narrates.

The second tip involves a commonly misunderstood rule: “Greasy pizza boxes belong in your general waste bin.”

Ms Dalziel concludes the video with a shot of a mobile phone and charging cord sitting atop her bin.

“E-waste like old phones and laptops do not belong in your recycling,” she says.

Ms Dalziel, who runs her own sustainability business called Banish, told Yahoo News Australia that her main goal with her TikToks is to create awareness around environmentalism and sustainability.

“When it comes to education, I found that a lot of people had so many questions but didn’t know where to find the answers,” she said.

“There have been so many instances where I post a tip and people will comment saying 'how did I not know this?'”

The video has been quick to rack up almost 169,000 views and 5700 likes, ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference, which is currently taking place in Glasgow.

Sustainability TikTok reacts to recycling mistakes

TikTok users have also been helpful in their comments, providing additional information on the viral TikTok’s points.

One TikTok user questioned Ms Dalziel’s first point, and was told that plastic bags should be recycled at REDcycle bins in their local supermarket.

Sustainability agency Suez confirms that pizza boxes should not be placed in recycling bins “due to the high contamination rate”, however some city councils allow pizza boxes to be recycled.

In a comment, Ms Dalziel also told users that “these are the general mistakes but every council differs.”

Ms Dalziel has also shared in a comment that the best place to dispose of E-waste safely is at an Officeworks or Mobile Muster.

The video is hashtagged with #sustainabilitytips has also attracted the attention of international viewers, with TikTok users from Canada posting comments.

The hashtag #sustainable has also proven popular on the social network, attracting over 1 billion total views.

TikTok users call for recycling action

Several TikTok users have commented on Ms Dalziel’s video, stating they’ve made and witnessed these mistakes themselves.

“I thought you could recycle pizza boxes, whoops,” one person wrote.

“I walk around my streets and the stuff they put in the yellow bin is not even recyclable,” commented another.

“The plastic bags with recycling in it is a huge pet peeve of mine,” wrote a third.

Another TikTok user has called for action from manufacturers to assist with recycling in the future.

“I want better labelling on packaging so I know what can and can’t be recycled,” they said.

Supermarket giant Aldi has recently announced the phasing out of black meat trays, as well as the removal of 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste from stores.

TikTok Star’s unexpected journey

Ms Dalziel also told Yahoo News about her unlikely success on TikTok, where she became an online sensation since posting her first video in September 2020.

“If you asked me 12 months ago if I’d be on TikTok talking about sustainability I would have laughed at you,” she said.

Ms Dalziel said that her recycling videos seem to resonate most with her follower base, along with her composting videos.

Photo of Lottie Dalziel. Source: Banish/Lottie Dalziel
Lottie Dalziel posts a lot of recycling tips on her TikTok account, as well as her website Banish. Source: Banish/Lottie Dalziel

“People are really engaged with the recycling topic, but composting is another one that my followers love,” she said.

“Composting was the norm years ago, but people stopped doing it because it was ‘gross’ and now people have forgotten just how important it is.”

Ms Dalziel said that since she began posting on TikTok, people have gone out of their way to contact her and thank her for the information she is providing.

“I’ve been absolutely blown away by the response,” she said.

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