A report released by CSIRO scientist Denise Hardesty, following an investigation into Australia’s coastal rubbish, paints an alarming picture. The research discovered that about three quarters of the rubbish along the coast was plastic, and most is from Australian sources.
In fact with an estimated 115,513,626 bits of rubbish on our coastline, there is an average of 5.2 pieces for every person in Australia
The danger associated with this waste was emphasised through their investigation into the Tasman Sea seabirds. Alarmingly the CSIRO researchers found that 43 per cent of short-tailed shearwaters have plastic in their gut, with young birds most impacted. The team predicted that plastics ingestion in seabirds may reach 95 per cent of all species by 2050.
So what can we do?
There are simple steps we all know about which can dramatically reduce your plastic use. Reusable coffee cups and water bottles, taking your own shopping bags, contributing towards consumer power by choosing to purchase goods with less packaging, just to name a few.
Take advantage of new technology.
As many who have tried to go Plastic Free know, it can actually be quite difficult. Plastic is a popular solution, because it is convenient. However, like many industries, technology is assisting to ensure there are more sustainable alternatives.
The Compost-A-Pak range of bags and liners are made of corn….. yep, seasonal corn crops,the same produce you end up smothering in butter and enjoying in front of your favourite movie…. Except this corn is fourth grade (non-eating grade) corn which is sourced from international regions with high rainfall to mitigate irrigation. A derivative
of the corn is then manufactured into convenient liners and bags, much the same way as a plastic bag is made. Not only are these bags much more sustainable to manufacture, at end of life they can be composted. In fact they are 100% AS4736 Australian certified compostable, so you can be confident that they will breakdown with your organic waste into compost with no harmful residue, returning all the nutrients to the soil.
The importance of convenience in reducing litter and encouraging the wider Australian community to be more sustainable is essential. Local council programs are increasingly targeting organic kitchen waste for diversion from landfill, given that over 50% of the average household waste is made up of green organic waste. Providing communities tools that improve the convenience of diverting kitchen waste, such as kitchen caddies and Compost-A-Pak liners, has been proven to dramatically increase participation, reduce contamination, and ultimately improve the success of such programs in reducing landfill.
Similarly, with the introduction of organic waste streams in the workplace, cleaners are more likely to support the program if it is convenient. Rather than requiring the bins to be cleaned every time they are emptied, or risking plastic contamination, providing compostable bin liners, which can be then thrown out with the organic waste, helps ensure the program is successful.
So Take the Pledge – Plastic Free
The Take the Pledge program builds awareness of plastic use by asking Australians to commitment to reduce their plastic waste, and share their experiences with their
families, friends and work colleagues. Why don’t you take the pledge today?