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  • Charlie Sykes


This week we are looking at cities who aim for zero waste by 2020 or 2025. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 49 percent of Australia’s council waste ends up in landfill, where in Japan this amounts to just 1 percent!! Whilst Japan is not perfect, with one of their waste management methods being the use of incineration, they are storming ahead to being a zero waste country.

The little town of Kamikatsu in Japan has a goal to be a zero waste town by 2020. This ambitious goal is certainly not easy to achieve, with people working together in effort.

Their recycling system works on the basis of dismantling and sorting all recyclable materials into an impressive 45 categories!! This seems crazy to Aussies who are currently complaining about the use of a 3 bin system or the fact they have to bring a bag to the shops!

With food scraps being composted, and 80 percent of the town’s waste recycled, the final 20 percent is begging difficulty. The issue now comes back to the suppliers, of which some products pose a problem to being recycled.

Back at home, state governments across Australia have declared they want to be zero waste or carbon neutral in the next 5 - 10 years. Positive steps have been taken in Adelaide, with the Adelaide City Council planning to monitor, measure and report all Council serviced landfill, recycling and green waste collection by 2025. Along with this goal is to improve reuse and recycling methods used in festivals and events around Adelaide. The council just passed a no straw policy at events from 1 Jan 2019.

New South Wales is also taking a proactive approach to waste management, with Sydney driving a zero waste campaign aimed at reducing waste through helping residents, local governments and businesses manage their waste efficiently.

Although recycling is important, it is also important to note that recycled waste is still waste produced, and changes need to be made in terms of waste production and prevention. Fast fact, Coles is the only private label in Australia to use 100 percent recycled plastic bottles in producing their own home brand bottled water. This is just one example of how we can use recycled material to create new products.

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