War on waste August 18, 2017

War on waste

Following ABC's recent "War on Waste" television series, the team at Edentify wanted to know more about what everyday people do to reduce the amount of waste their households produce. We asked the Caféstudy community what they thought, how easy it is to do, and what difference they feel they are making.

The program certainly had an impact on the Caféstudy members, and uncovered some strong feelings about recycling and waste reduction. Clearly it tapped into an issue that for many is extremely important.

“Oooooooh.........I love this Topic and have been waiting for a hearty Discussion in which I can contribute and voice My opinion......!!!!"

“There's a quote that goes 'in a gentle way, you can shake the world' and it really resonated me. Maybe people like me won't save the planet, because the planet is probably too far gone in terms of getting ruined by humans, but at least I'm trying to reduce my negative impact on earth."

For most, reducing waste is something they do every day. Whether it's making good use of their council recycling bins, taking re-usable bags to the supermarket, or using a worm-farm to dispose of food scraps, minimising waste is already well-ingrained in many people's households.

“I recycle everything I can. I buy clothes from op shops & donate my old ones.
I renovate furniture, don't buy new things. & have things repaired, not thrown out to buy new ones
Shop at Farmers markets, so no packaging on my food & take my own bags to supermarket
Food scraps go to the chooks or the compost bin I do grow a a few summer veggies, but no room for much
I don't know if my little bit helps the planet, but I like to think I'm doing my best"

"It seems that reducing waste goes further than this for some people. Buying vintage clothing, and looking for ways to save water and electricity is all part of the same issue."

However it's not always an easy thing to do. With time pressures and confusion about what can and can't be recycled, good intentions do not always translate into action. Doing the right thing takes organisation and dedication.

"I was very pro-active changing things around in my recycling habits but soon fell back into my old ways."

"I believe it is a matter of commitment. Once the mind is made up, then it is simply a matter of organisation & then sticking to a routine."

"The restrictions on what you can put in those bins sometimes just make it easier to put in the rubbish, unfortunately."

The biggest issue when it comes to reducing waste is that while individuals are doing what they can, the biggest contributors – large companies – are not pulling their weight. Through excess packaging, disposal of excess food, or other wasteful business practices, corporate Australia is seen to be ignoring the war on waste.

"Why does it always have to go back to the individual to try and make a difference, when it is really the fault of the manufacturers. They choose the cheapest packaging and always supply small packs of everything nothing in bulk."

"I have been trying to sort recyclables, reduce food waste and upcycle plastic containers and yet many companies regularly dump a million times what I am trying to save. I wondered why I bothered then realised that I was doing what I believed was right so why should I stop. "

"As usual is it is the big players; governments, big business, supermarket giants, fast food chains, etc, who make a massive impact and create a huge amount of waste but whose only concern is the bottom line who need to take more action, or be forced to take more action."

"I just think so much more needs to be done to help reduce waste from big business/corporations/countries that I guess I feel my small contribution is a bit futile."

So it seems that Australians are already fighting this war and they want companies to join them in the battle, but they aren't listening. The challenge that we are putting out to corporate Australia is this: what are you doing to join your customers in fighting the war on waste?

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