Australia's War on Waste

So you're probably hearing more and more about the issue of our waste and especially the effect that plastic is having on our environment. You may be noticing more and more news articles about various marine mammals choked up with our rubbish. We'd like to think this is just an issue in the developing world because then it becomes someone else's problem. The truth is, the developed world is just as bad as the images you see with beaches dripping in rubbish, we're just far better at hiding our problem. 

We have magnificent systems in place where our rubbish is conveniently picked up from our houses every week or fortnight and it disappears to this place we like to call "away". Many of us don't put much more thought into this but the reality is, there is no "away". 

Our landfills can not possibly sustainably take much more of this unless we slow down as a species and stop to consider what we are doing to our planet.

Paper, plastic or otherwise, we have become incredibly thoughtless about putting things in the bin. We use paper towel to dry our hands 20 seconds quicker than they would dry naturally. Paper towel that comes from trees! Yes, trees! Almost everything we eat is wrapped in plastic for convenience or freshness and we've forgotten skills that our grandparents would have used to preserve things without waste. And don't get me started on food waste. What a ridiculous problem we have that food is one of the main contributors of our waste problem when half of the world does not have enough food to fill their bellies. Food, that when put in landfill and starved of oxygen, actually creates a more harmful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide; methane. It's time we wake up. 

Every year 8 million tonnes of plastic is dumped into our ocean. Much of this rubbish may have been thoughtfully disposed of, put in landfill bins or recycling bins, but has still found its way there. The oceans are downhill from everywhere and we can not guarantee where our waste ends up unless we produce none. I know for sure that on bin day in our suburb, our streets are a mess. This is waste we've put into bins but throughout its process to disappear it's ended up in gutters, storm water drains and then the ocean. 

We must consciously band together to create ripples, promote change and fight for the future of Mother Earth. Join me as I take the journey towards zero-waste by making small, sustainable swaps to reduce what we produce!

-Chloe