Thursday, 25 May 2017

War on Waste - Week 2


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This week saw Craig tackle the issue of plastic bags....and what an issue it is!

He chased down politicians in NSW and VIC to question them about #BanTheBag - none of them seemed too keen to accept his generous gift of a giant ball of plastic bags or discuss the massive impact plastic bags have on our environment. Shame, shame politicians.

Did you know that NSW, VIC & WA are the only states that don't #BanTheBag, with QLD, SA, NT & TAS having already implemented #BanTheBag initiatives.

However, there seems to be some loopholes as Craig headed to TAS to see just how well #BanTheBag was going. Some places were totally smashing it, however, others weren't so much and it is also up to the consumer to make a conscience effort to take their own bags.

The enlisted #WarOnWasteAU households were set a challenge to decide which plastics could be recycled, which resulted in a lot of hesitation over what could and what couldn't. Hesitation that would be mirrored in households across Australia - can you recycle aerosol cans? can you recycle plastic takeaway containers? Well, yes you can - but the tricky thing is that each council differs in what they recycle, so if in doubt check out your local council website.

For some tips on what can be recycled - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-24/what-plastics-can-i-recycle-war-on-waste/8548658

The verdict was in this week on the GPS trackers in the recycled plastic bags....it seems some ended up in landfill - ummm, certainly not what we are expecting to happen.

However, Craig gave them the benefit of the doubt and re-did the experiment and the plastic bags ended up in a recycle facility, but queue confusion from the people working there about where they come from and what happens to them....needless to say I am still not convinced about what happens when people set out to recycle their plastic bags and I will be going down the route of #BanTheBag entirely.

This week also saw Craig deep diving into Sydney Harbour to see the impact of plastics on our marine environment....verdict = REALLY REALLY not good. It is estimated by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans. Seriously, if that isn't enough to kick you into gear on cutting down waste and plastic I don't know what is!


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But it isn't all bad news. Craig visited a recycling plant that is separating out our plastics, aluminum and paper to be on sold in Australia and overseas to be remade into other items. (Side note though - Eskys aren't recyclable. Some people seem to think that anything can be chucked in their recycle bin!).

He also showed us a place that is using recycled plastic bags (the ones that make it where they are meant to make it) into plastic benches etc. It was really great to see. And one guy at a landfill outside Cairns is going through the rubbish to take out what is recyclable - Nice work!

If you didn't see the second part, please take the time to check it out - http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/war-on-waste-stories/DC1624H012S00

The takeaways from this episode were:

  • Ditch the plastic bag and use reusable bags - #BanTheBag
  • If you do find yourself with a plastic bag or two they can be recycled through some supermarkets by the REDcycle program
  • Check out Boomerang Bags.
  • Petition the Government about #BanTheBag

Did you watch it?
What were your takeaways?

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