The world, including Victoria, has been told it can no longer export contaminated recycled products to China, which previously took most of Australia's recycled products.
But, according to the Australian Industry Group, which represents major waste companies, there is a pressing need to help the public better understand how they can help and what recycled products remain acceptable.
"We've seen what happened in Ipswich (Queensland) this week and we desperately don't want recycling to be terminated in Victoria," said Tim Piper, Head of the Australian Industry Group in Victoria.
"We need to explain what recycled products are acceptable. For example, you can't leave food in recyclable boxes or liquids in recyclable plastic containers. If we contaminate recyclable loads they cannot be exported."
Mr Piper emphasised that an extensive education program is the best way to build the integrity of our recycling system in Victoria, keep council rates down and assist the environment.
"People want to do the right thing. They want to recycle. We must tell them how to do it properly and they can save money.
"The alternatives to maintaining a strong recycling system are expensive and may not benefit either the economy or the environment," Mr Piper said.
Further comment: Tim Piper – 0411 430 301