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Plastic-free

Towards a plastic- and waste-free business

We need to move away from plastic and other forms of waste. But it’s not quite that easy. There are sources of waste we can see and quickly do something about – and then there are sources that are less visible or less easy to do without. So, from easy to difficult, here are three steps to become a plastic- and waste-free business. Compostable packaging This is the one that is most visible – the source of plastic that customers ...
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The problem of plastic capitalism

The problem with plastic A 2017 study from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation found that by 2050, Earth’s oceans will contain more plastic than fish. Already, there are huge, submerged, moving concentrations of waste in every one of the planet’s oceans, known as garbage patches. Plastic does not readily biodegrade. The best the oceans can do is break plastics down into microplastics, and microplastics into smaller nanoplastics. These invisible particles remain in the water, creating the effect of a permanent petrochemical ...
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News in plastic: Good … and some bad

There is some good news … and some bad. Which shows that we all have to appreciate the wins and keep pushing on with our own actions to reduce plastic consumption. Coca Cola cutting virgin plastic By 2021, Coca Cola Australia has pledged to reduce its use of virgin plastic by 40,000 tonnes (compared with 2017) by using frozen drink cups and lids made from recycled plastic. Currently, these cups and lids are made of polystyrene, which is generally not ...
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5 misconceptions about the plastic impact

Plastic is a very visible, tangible problem. Stand in the confectionary aisle, or the chilled aisle – any but the fresh produce aisle – and it’s easy to think that the main problem with all those items is the plastic packaging. Plastic is a huge issue. By 2050 there may be more plastic in the oceans than fish. But the truth is that, looking around the supermarket shelves, the largest environmental impact is more likely to come from inside the ...
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Us and the government: A circular economy

We talk about the circular economy a lot. But what can each of us, as individuals, do to get there – and what do we need our government to do? What is the circular economy? The circular economy is a system in which no material is wasted. At the end of their life, materials are put back into production to create something new. This could be through domestic recycling of cans, plastic, and paper, or through industrial recycling of things ...
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We need certainty on recycled plastics

We all want to do the right thing and put plastic in the correct recycling bin. But if there is no market for recycled plastic, funding the recycling process gets difficult. A sure market One way to improve recycling rates is for governments to buy more recycled materials. Australian Council of Recycling chief Pete Shmigel says governments could sell recycled materials to roads agencies that would use them. Another 100,000 tonnes of soft plastics could be used if two road ...
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The council leading organics recycling

Tweed Council’s organics processing Tweed Shire Council has seen work commence on their new organics processing facility, which is a step towards their long-term zero-waste commitment. This facility, capable of dealing with nearly 21,000 tonnes of food and garden organics annually, will be linked with the council’s green bin kerbside collection program. It will function as an enclosed composting facility, with features such as 99KW solar power system expected to offset 22% of its power consumption. Rainwater will be captured ...
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How pet foods are leading sustainability

The pet food industry is going green! Read on for some trends in the pet food market, including exciting news from the UK … Pet food trends In the UK, pet food trends are surprisingly aligned with human trends: 43% of dog owners believe it’s healthier to limit the amount of red meat, and even encourage a plant-based doggy diet. And, just as veganism has seen a rise in popularity, so has sustainability. According to consumer research, goods marketed with ...
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Success story: how one business is making zero-waste coffee

The social enterprise start-up Kua, thanks to a City of Sydney grant, has devised the zero-waste solution of ‘lending’ coffee beans to local businesses and taking back the coffee grounds for re-use. What is Kua doing? Kua delivers specialty Ugandan-grown coffee beans in benchtop canisters to Sydney workplaces through a subscription-based model. The used grounds are then provided to community gardnes throughout Sydney. These recipients include Indigrow, an Aboriginal Social Enterprise, along with smaller organisations like the Randwick Community Garden ...
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A beginner’s guide to sustainable packaging

Sometimes our understanding of what sustainable packaging is and why it’s important can get confused in all the detail around the minutia. So here is your beginner’s guide to sustainable packaging, summarised and laid out straight. What is sustainable packaging? While products labelled ‘green’ may appear eco-friendly, the term really doesn’t mean anything. Neither does ‘eco-friendly’. Instead, you should look for more tangible descriptions such as: Compostable Non-toxic Ozone-safe/friendly Recyclable Made from recycled content Made with renewable energy Made with ...
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