Shopping ‘swap-style’ for National Recycling Week

Imagine a time when new shoes and new outfits come for free. Well, the time is now. Easy on the environment and painless on your purse, The Big Aussie Swap is happening as part of National Recycling Week 2012, and it’s a chance to clean out your cupboards and get ‘shwapping’.

 This year, National Recycling Week is running from 12 – 18 November and to celebrate, Australia is hosting its Big Aussie Swap Party.

The Big Aussie Swap is an ideal way for Aussies to trade unwanted items, instead of ruling them out as rubbish. Participants exchange their unwanted goods such as clothes, books, CDs and accessories for tokens that can then be used to ‘purchase’ pre-loved products that have been brought along by others.
Swap parties promote the perks of reuse and recycling and are great for the environment, but they’re also a fun and interactive way to refresh your robes and cleanse your collections for free, making it a budget-friendly alternative to buying new.

“Diverting items from landfill and giving a new life to products you no longer need is one of the easiest ways you can do your bit towards a healthy environment,” says Janet Sparrow, Recycling Programs Manager at Planet Ark. “Swapping just one suitcase (20kg) of clothes saves enough energy to run a TV non-stop for 1.7 years.”

Australians around the country are invited to initiate a Swap Party, and can refer to the Big Aussie Swap Survival Guide produced by Planet Ark. The Guide includes an array of tips and tricks for hosting a successful Swap session.

“There’s something special about pre-loved items, and Swaps are becoming a real trend around the world because they are so easy to arrange,” says Sparrow. “Just decide on the kind of items you’d like participants to exchange, organise a time and place for the party, and invite colleagues or friends to bring along possessions they would like to trade.”

Planet Ark founded National Recycling Week as a community education campaign in 1996, with the aim of bringing a national focus to recycling and minimising waste at home, at work and in the community.

To find your nearest Big Aussie Swap event, to download Planet Ark’s Swap Party Survival Guide or for more information about any of Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week initiatives, visit or call the National Recycling Hotline on 1300 733 712.

National Recycling Week 2012 is made possible by major sponsorship from Tetra Pak, with supporting sponsorship from The Aluminium Can Group, the Australian Packaging Covenant, Century Yuasa, and Cartridges 4 Planet Ark.


  1. I want to do this on a smaller scale in my city... you have me thinking now. I think this is a wonderful idea:)

    1. Wonderful news.. I really think you can do it, grass roots is the way to go

  2. That's a very simple and effective way of turning what would be trash into something still useful to people!We consume too much these days and this is a great iniciative that every city in the world should copy.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. You guys should try :) I swap the majority of my wardrobe on there. Unfortunately I don't have time to get to events like this. Sousa good though!


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