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The most commonly recycled plastics in Malaysia are
  • Type 1; polyethylene terephthalate (PET),
  • Type 2; high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and
  • Type 5; polypropylene (PP).
In Malaysia, most single material plastics can be recycled. However, multi-material / mixed plastics can be a challenge for recycling, due to factors such as economy of scale, multi-layers laminated condition, etc.

Types of plastic are identified by the number stated (code) in the triangle arrow symbol indicated on a plastic product. The codes are agreed internationally in order to provide clarity on the chemical makeup of each plastic product but it does not guarantee the recyclability of the product.
The triangle arrow symbol can usually be found at the bottom of a plastic container. Please refer to FAQ #1 for more information on the different codes.
identify the types of plastic

Cleaning and drying our recyclables would minimise contamination and increase recycling rate. Unclean recyclables could lead to additional cleaning effort and costs by the facility.
Here are some recommendations to clean and dry different recyclables:
For plastic containers or packaging and aluminium foil:
  1. Empty the contents and ensure there is no food residue.
  2. Wash the outer and inner part of the container and packaging with water and soap.
  3. Dry them.

For glass jars and bottles:
  1. Empty the jar and/ or bottle and ensure there is no food residue. If possible, tear off the label.
  2. If it is tough to tear off the label, combine an equal ratio of baking soda & oil and mix it into a paste.
  3. Apply paste on the label and let it rest overnight.
  4. Scrub off the paste and label.
  5. Rinse the jar and/ or bottle.

Common Recycling BinsThe most common type of recycling bins in Malaysia are
  1. Plastic
  2. Can
  3. Paper
  4. Glass

Special BinsThere are dedicated bins to collect other waste such as organic waste, e-waste, clothing, etc. Some examples are “charity bins” located at petrol stations, residential areas, shopping malls, etc.
To prevent misusing recycling bins and special bins, we need to clean and segregate our recyclables properly.

Waste can be classified into 5 categories, namely solid waste, liquid waste, organic waste, hazardous waste, and reusables & recyclable waste.

The following are some community groups in Malaysia that can help drive change through the power of people and the community:
Zero Waste Malaysia MapYour one-stop directory to find the nearest zero waste places around you, such as recycling centers (General and special bins), repair shops, bulk stores, etc.
Repair - Kaki DIYA community that empowers members to share repair knowledge, collaborate and provide repair services.
Freecycling Community - Beli Nothing ProjectGeographical-based Facebook groups that allow community members in neighbouringareas to give away items in good condition for free. Find one in your community by searching keywords such as “Beli Nothing” or “Buy Nothing” followed by your area on Facebook, ie.Buy Nothing Project (BNP) Klang Valley & PJ
The Swap ProjectA textile -swapping platform for community members to give clothing a second home in order to reduce buying new clothing and practise mindful consumption.

Although the universal recycling symbol, called the Mobius Loop ♻️, indicates that a product’s packaging can be recycled, it may not be accepted or collected for recycling.
Products with mixed materials require specific recycling facilities which may not be currently available in your location. We should still refer to the plastic categories (see FAQ #1) or other trash items in the Trashpedia to determine the recyclability of each product.

The recyclability of items in Trashpedia was established based on general recycling practices of the partners we work with within Klang Valley (Malaysia), who contributed to the content of Trashpedia.
As recycling collection systems and practices vary across geographies, especially in different countries, your local recycling collector may accept different items for recycling. Hence, we suggest that you check with your local recycling centres directly for more accurate and updated information on recycling collection.
Feel free to write in to us if you would like us to connect with your local collectors.

Kindly read the product label to understand its materials in order to determine whether it’s widely accepted for recycling. We suggest that you check with your local collection centres on the recyclability of a specific trash item.

Zero Waste Malaysia strives to make sustainable living accessible to everyone. As a non-profit organization, your donation means a lot to us in making this happen. To support Zero Waste Malaysia’s work, feel free to contribute at here.
For sponsorship, grants or further support, kindly email info@zerowastemalaysia.org.

Yes, we’d be more than happy to see more people using the Trashpedia website and learning more about recycling and sustainable living in general. Feel free to download our QR codes and also the posters. Take a photo and tag us on our social media accounts!Download materials here

For collaboration and partnership enquiries, please write an email to info@zerowastemalaysia.org.