Waste is a growing issue around the globe
Reduce, reuse and recycle.
A natural tendency some people practice is to ‘throw-away' things once they have been used. Increased waste is a problem we all contribute to. Think about how many times, over your lifetime you have made a purchase that was more then you needed. How often have you thrown half of something away in the rubbish? Multiply by this by the global population and you can see the scale of waste produced is significant.
There is a substantial amount of waste that goes into landfill. This waste practice contributes to greenhouse gas emission. In addition to the rubbish that ends in landfill ‘rubbish ends up in our waterways and oceans, where it does untold harm to our marine life' (1). To assist with waste management a popular, simple reminder for us all is to reuse, reduce and recycle. By being a little more conscious in our purchasing practices and the home environment we can tweak our habits whereby we throughout less garbage. The approach involves actively including new practices. By doing this we can make positive changes that become second nature. Mother Nature and your bank account will thank you.
To reduce waste we must first consider if an item is necessary. When we go to a shop or supermarket we are almost always offered a plastic bag to store our purchase. Take a moment to consider if you need this. Perhaps have a reusable bag or backpack ready so you are prepared. By refusing the plastic bag you have reduced unnecessary waste. Plastic bags can take up to 1000 years to decompose and are a major threat to the environment (1).
Another great way to reduce waste is to consider your green waste. When this waste is added to landfill it produces significant greenhouse gas as methane is the by-product of organic waste decomposing without oxygen (1). Consider a small green waste in your kitchen and throw your organic food waste directly into your council provided green bin. You may also consider getting a worm farm. These are great for your garden as they produce fertiliser year-round.
When we make use of a product more than once we are reusing it. There are many ways to do this. Consider paper for example. When we are given a gift consider if the wrapping paper, ribbon, gift bag or card can be reused for another gift you give in the future (2). Or perhaps the paper can be used to make a notebook or scrapbook for note-taking. Think about having a ‘reuse' storage space where you can keep bits and pieces that may be reusable. That way the next time you prepare a gift you can simply access your ‘reusable' paper and ribbons for the lucky recipient of your gift. You are reusing paper while your bank account also benefits.
Containers for food and beverages are often purchased in high frequency and tossed after one use. An alternative to this is to purchase your products in glass jars. Once you have finished with the product in that glass jar give it a good clean and store for repurposing. Like the reusable paper storage, implement a cupboard in your kitchen where you store glass jars and containers. Next time you make excess food or beverage you can simply grab a ready to use glass jar for storage.
The final option of your new practice is to recycle. This is the exercise of taking something old, adjusting it and making it new again. When you are finished with a container that cannot be refused or reused take it to your local recycling depot or put it in your recycling bin. It will then be collected by your council and taken to a facility that can process the container and make it new again. One example is a peanut butter jar which can be made into sleeping bag stuffing (2).
It is important to check with your local council the details of recycling in your area. Each council can recycle different products and it is best not to contaminate your recycling bin with the wrong materials. Some items can be recycled at a depot for cash.
Share your wisdom
A central part of reducing unnecessary waste is to pass along your knowledge and practice to others. Helping others to be savvy and reduce, reuse or recycle will benefit them as it has you. If we are mindful about ways to reduce waste we can conserve natural minerals like copper that is used in electrical goods (2). We will also preserve energy that is used to process new products, decrease petroleum extraction used to make plastic and lower the amount of water that is needed to manufacture goods.
We can all commit to reducing, reusing and recycling in small ways every day. By doing this we will reduce the waste in our world.
About Container Deposit Systems
Container Deposit Systems was formed with a vision to oversee the implementation of improved operational practices in recycling facilities. The company offers a range of services to recycling depot facilities to drive productivity improvements and transition traditional recycling facilities into modern technically advanced operators.
The company achieve this through patented technologies which deliver manufacturing automation to auto-sort materials via a highly sensitive multi-sensor integration. Systems integrations enable facilities to further gain efficiencies through workflows, materials handling, logistic processes, facility layout and design, customer interaction and data acquisition and management.
Container Deposit Systems technologies are designed and manufactured in Australia with local partners Sage Automation and Macweld Engineering.
For more information, please contact us directly.
- https://www.wwf.org.au/get- involved/change-the-way-you- live/reduce-reuse-recycle#gs. yjcwgl
- https://www.wasteauthority.wa. gov.au/media/files/wws/reduce- reuse-recycle-fact-sheet.pdf