Plastic - The Breakdown

If you're like most people, you're probably living a busy, full life without much time to spare delving into the particulars of the waste management system. On the other hand, our collective awareness of how damaging our waste has been on our environment is growing as we see more and more media reflecting back to us innocent victims in the animal kingdom that have succumb to human generated waste; especially plastic. What a dire way to open a blog! But we can't escape the inconvenient truth, waste is happening and there is a resounding concurrence that we must act now to stop disrespecting our planet.


So what do we do with this dissonance between being too busy to 'do', but caring so much? My recommendation, as a self-proclaimed waste warrior, is to arm yourself with information and find an easy and regular way to 'do'. A little each day makes a big impact over the longer term.


Let's focus on the biggest problem at hand - plastic. If we look to minimise the use of plastic or dispose of it correctly when we have no other option but to use plastic, our collective efforts will make a huge impact over time. But it can get quite confusing out there when it comes to categorising plastics, especially understanding whether plastics are biodegradable, compostable or degradable. There's been a breakdown of how plastics are advertised to us so we want to break it down for you and help demystify some of the myths.

This awesome infographic was provided by WasteMINZ, go to their website for more Or download it as a PDF here.


Now, what to do with this knowledge.  There are around 150 Industrial Composting and Organics Recycling facilities in Australia and growing. So it may be relatively easy to make sure you are doing your bit to sort your waste prior to it arriving at a waste facility. However, your waste may not always be sent to a recycling, industrial composting or organics recycling facility; it may end up in landfill. You can do some research with your local council to see if they send your waste to a landfill, recycling facility or industrial compost facility; then try to prevent it from going to landfill or petition for more environmentally friendly waste treatment facilities.


The easiest thing to do, is to swap out products that you buy that are not biodegradable and or compostable, including their packaging. A good indicator of whether a product or its packaging falls within an internationally recognised biodegradable or compostable standard such as the Seedling logo (EN13432; ASTM D6400; AS 4736-2006 standard).....


...or the Home Compostable logo (AS 5810-2010 standard).

If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed by too much change, it might be easier to join a support group that champions and celebrates each small change you make. A group that we're proud to be a part of is the 1 Million Women network. It's a global movement empowering women to act on climate change through the way they live - check it out

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