Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Environmentality 1 April 2015, Ryan Collins - Planet Ark Recycling Programs Manager

In 30-40 years’ time, will our children’s children be sitting in a history lesson learning about the early 21st century when we used to produce materials that were non-recyclable and instead of re-using would throw away into giant landfills or the oceans? I hope this is the case and I hope it sounds bizarre, crazy, stupid, wrong, wasteful and even arrogant when they hear of this happening because it sure as sunrise sounds like it to me now as I think about it. To get from here to there we need organisations like Planet Ark to lead the way through their behaviour changing initiatives and recycling and stewardship programs. This week we were lucky enough to have Planet Ark’s Recycling Programs Manager, Ryan Collins, speak to us about waste, recycling and the way forward to a sustainable future.

Australians are good at recycling at home but when it comes to the workplace we seem to forget how to separate our waste. Ok, maybe it’s not as simple as forgetting but 46% of workplace waste is sent to landfill which is not good! Planet Ark recently published a report (written by our guest Ryan) identifying a number of key barriers to workplace recycling and how to overcome them and it seems that the number one reason is insufficient support from management with four out of ten Australian workers feeling that their managers aren’t supporting recycling behaviour. A good start for recycling in the workplace is to introduce some of the free recycling initiatives such as the Planet Ark printer cartridge recycling program. Check out the website or call the hotline 1300 763 768 to learn of more ways you can improve recycling in your workplace.

On a more individual/household level there is really no excuse to not be recycling everything that is recyclable. To find out what can be recycled and where it can be recycled head to Did you know you can recycle computers, batteries, printer cartidges, mobile phones, fluorescent light tubes and even plastic bags! Plastic bag collection points are often located at major supermarket stores but they are not just for supermarket bags, you can place most soft plastics in there such as your pasta packets, lolly bags, biscuit packets and the like so start saving those too.

This week on the show two relatively new concepts in the world of recycling and business that were touched on were the ‘Circular Economy’ and ‘Industrial Ecology’. The circular economy is an emerging way of doing business whereby products and materials are designed such that the end-of-life of the product or material has been considered and is either reused or recycled as part of the life-cycle process with the idea being that there is no waste. Industrial ecology is similar to the circular economy however is more targeted at industrial processes and using the waste (output) from one process as the input for another and so on.

To find out what else was covered, make sure you have alisten to the podcast. One thing you will hear is Jaime’s passion for the topic of waste in our society.

Thanks to Ryan for his song selections this week:
Sophia by Laura Marling (Jaime’s choice)
Pyramid Building by Hilltop Hoods
Eyes Wide Open by Gotye
What’s My Scene by The Hoodoo Gurus

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