It’s time to make haste on zero waste!
The ACT Government has started the phase out of single use plastics by banning plastic cutlery, stirrers and polystyrene containers, but it’s time to do more and do it faster.
Banning single use plastics is an important step to avoid generating unnecessary plastic waste that goes to landfill, or pollutes the environment. While the ACT has made a start on this, there is more work to do – heavy duty plastics bags, fruit and vegetable barrier bags, straws, take-away coffee cups, plastic cups and plates, are all items that we can avoid. Remembering to carry your own coffee cup and shopping bags can sometimes take a little practice, but it’s an important shift towards avoiding products that get used once, and then thrown into landfill!
Cutting waste to landfill
Meanwhile, we must reduce waste to landfill by separating and recycling different parts of the waste stream. Our waste stream is made up of residential and commercial waste, and contains many resources that can be recycled and reused in different products. This includes soft plastics, textiles, e-waste, and building and construction waste. Separating the waste stream can sometimes just mean having a different collection process, such as allowing textiles to be collected at Recycling Drop Off centres.
Soft plastics collection
Curb side recycling of soft plastics is already occurring in councils across NSW. Soft plastics are collected in an identifiable bag, popped into the yellow recycling bin, and extracted from the waste stream before other waste is processed.
Food and organic waste (FOGO)
By 2023, the ACT is expected to have a food and organic (FOGO) waste collection rolled out across the city. This is an important change to our waste collection. We can use organic waste as a valuable resource to improve soils in our gardens and on public lands. When FOGO is rolled out across Canberra, we must stop organic waste from going into landfill where it creates greenhouse emissions.