Australia’s War on Waste

May 30, 2017

Have you been tuning into ABC’s War on Waste? This three-part series, hosted by Craig Reucassel, explores Australia’s need to reduce waste consumption.

Tackling Australia's waste crisis

On average, how much waste do you throw out? In Australia, it’s estimated each Australian goes through as much as 1.5 tonnes of waste annually. With a population of 24,473,692 people, this equates to 36,710,538 tonnes of rubbish per year.

You don’t need to be an expert to understand the severity of that figure.

Australian recycling facts

To educate everyday Australians on the importance of recycling, ABC’s War on Waste is looking at everything from the amount of fresh produce being thrown out at farms due to the high cosmetic standards within our supermarkets, to the impact of ‘fast fashion’.

Here, we look at some of the eye-opening facts explored within this popular mini-series, and what we can do to make a difference to the amount of waste ending up in Australian landfills.

Cheap, Fast Fashion

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), it takes 2,700 litres of water to make one cotton T-shirt. This is enough water for one person to live off for 900 days. Another incredibly confronting fact about our clothing consumption is that 6,000 kilograms of clothing are thrown away every ten minutes.

So, it begs the question – has shopping become a mindless exercise, with many of us falling into the trap of thinking our wardrobes need to be updated more than is necessary?

But, how do you get off the trend-mill? Well, that’s easy – shop pre-loved! Fashion is known for doing circles, so there are plenty of retro and vintage items you can snap up from your local used clothing store or op-shop, a lot of which are in like-new condition, which will be just as trendy as the brand new clothes you can find in store.

Plastic Wrapping in Supermarkets

Two years ago, Pat Lowe and Alex Smee started a petition after noticing the absurd amount of plastic Coles and Woolworths were wasting when packaging their fresh produce. They wanted to know why supermarket chains felt the need to package a single sweet potato or four cobs of corn on a styrofoam tray, wrapped in plastic.

Their original petition was signed by 108,000 people and has recently received an additional 90,000 signatures after this questionable practice was discussed on War on Waste. We already dump 7,150 plastic bags into landfill every minute, so the last thing we need is to be adding to this with even more wasteful plastic.

However, according to Ms Lowe, this campaign is about more than just reducing landfill. It’s about reducing the amount of plastic in circulation, while also increasing awareness about the importance of reduce, reuse, recycle – not just the recycling component.

You can read the full interview here!

These are just two examples of the discussion being generated by the ABC’s latest program. To learn more, you can watch the program here.

In the meantime, if you need to dispose of waste in a safe, environmentally friendly way, talk to the team at Perth Bin Hire today!