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On December 15, 2020, Australia passed an act called the Australia's Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, banning the export of plastic waste, paper, glass and tyres. The act will come into full effect mid-2024.
Due to this ban, the Australian Government has established a ‘Recycling Modernisation Fund,’ which will contribute $600 million towards increasing resource recovery and improving recycling to minimise waste to landfill.
Along with improving recycling infrastructure, better waste separation is also required to improve the recyclability of products. To achieve this, the Victorian State Government is planning to introduce compulsory Glass and Food Organics & Garden Organics (FOGO) kerbside collections by 2030 for residents across the whole state.
At Ratio, we see waste minimisation and sustainability as a key consideration for new developments. Our waste team is committed to ensuring that new developments are designed to not only meet but exceed these waste reduction requirements as they come into effect.
Improving our consumer choices and waste management practices has many benefits at the individual level:
- Choosing seasonal, unprocessed, and organic foods such fresh fruit and vegetables by either starting your own veggie patch, or shopping at your local market and cooking at home is not only very beneficial to our health, but also cheaper, and contains less plastic packaging, preventing harmful microplastics entering our environment.
- In addition to using the FOGO bin, composting your food waste is a great way to reduce food waste and put nutrients back into the soil and to help improve your veggie patch, without the need for harmful pesticides. Check with your local council, who may offer a rebate when purchasing a compost bin.
- If plastic packaging can’t be avoided, then separating your soft plastic waste and taking it to your local supermarket’s RedCycle collection bin is the best way to ensure the soft plastics is re-used in the manufacturing of asphalt, furniture, bollards and signage, to name a few. See www.redcycle.net.au for more info.
- Lots of other waste streams can be recycled including E-waste, batteries, chemicals, paints, metals, wood and polystyrene. It is best to visit your local council’s website and/or recyclingnearyou.com.au to find out information on how and where to drop off your recyclables.
Author: Lachlan Harris, Environmental Consultant