National Recycling Week has seen industry collaborate with Planet Ark to promote recycling, including TerraCycle, which launched more than 100 new zero-waste solutions in Australia.
TerraCycle’s new Zero Waste Boxes, recycling solutions for items not typically accepted in kerbside collections, are filled with specific waste streams – such as sunglasses, sports equipment, locks and keys, hotel amenities, leather, and medical blister packs – which are then shipped back via Australia Post, sorted, shredded, and melted into plastic pellets for manufacture of new products including garden beds, park benches, and playgrounds.
Jean Bailliard, general manager of TerraCycle Australia, said the Zero Waste Boxes offer an alternative to sending “non-recyclable” waste to landfill.
“TerraCycle is committed to providing innovative recycling solutions for items that most Australians consider non-recyclable. We asked our collectors what they wanted to recycle and have designed these new Zero Waste Boxes with them in mind,” said Bailliard.
The boxes for home, office, school, and business are available through TerraCycle’s Shopify website. One business, Gymbaroo in Glebe, now has an easy recycling solution that anyone – even children – can participate in, said owner Bernie Good.
“I wanted to provide parents with an easy solution to recycling their children’s toys. With the help of our new Zero Waste Boxes, we see families becoming enthusiastic about recycling and teaching their children about our environment and waste.
“I believe that having a social conscience and being an active member of society begins at an early age and we must encourage it,” he said.
Packaging businesses such as Detpak are embracing National Recycling Week as well, with Tom Lunn, manager of Marketing and Innovation, saying recycling is the ultimate environmental option for single-use packaging.
“Recycling provides a great end of life solution to ensure the valuable resources that go into manufacturing can live again.
“Making packaging recyclable is also a part of targets set in the Toward 2025 agreement from Australian Environment Ministers, along with ensuring there is a demand for recycled materials.
“Already we are using over 1,300 tonnes of Australian sourced recycled content in products we manufacture in Adelaide,” he said.
The organiser of National Recycling Week, Planet Ark, is aiming to dispel myths around recycling and what can be recycled. Rebecca Gilling, deputy CEO, says that though Australians are proud and passionate recyclers, many are still putting problematic plastics in kerbside bins and contaminating the waste stream.
“As Australia looks to build a new approach to how we manage our waste and recycling as a country, an essential part of that work is empowering Australians to understand how to recycle correctly and dispelling the myths that surround recycling.
“A major part of that effort is the Australasian Recycling Label. The label is a joint effort by Planet Ark and the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation that shows how to recycle each part of a product’s packaging. Some of Australia’s largest brands have adopted the label so we hope to see and hear from shoppers finding this essential recycling education tool in stores,” she said.
National Recycling Week runs until 17 November.