Plastic pollution is the defining environmental challenge for our time and global plastic production is projected to nearly double in the next 10-15 years. To beat plastic pollution, we need to entirely rethink our approach to designing, producing and using plastic products like these Australians are doing in time for Plastic Free July.
Kitchen and Engineering team members at Parmelia Hilton Perth use compostable bin liners to recycle food waste – diverting plastic and organic waste from landfill.
The hotel caters for events with up to 500 people, has 284 guest rooms and the popular Adelphi Grill. Like any hotel, they have food waste but unlike any hotel, they put it into compostable bags and send it to a commercial compost facility. The hotel significantly reduces its carbon footprint by diverting plastic and food waste from landfill and recycling food waste so it can be returned to the earth as nutrient-rich fertiliser.
Kangaroo Island Mayor Peter Clements and members of the Eco-Action Kangaroo Island group want plastic bags removed from the island to preserve their local environment.
Encouraging residents to use kitchen compost caddies, home compost bins and the local green organics waste collection service also saves ratepayers and council money transporting waste from the Island for recycling and to landfill.
Farmers in QLD use plant-based bags at markets
Queensland farmers like The Organic Man, Paul Ward, are switching from plastic and degradable plastic produce bags to compostable BioBags that break down into organic matter with no toxic residues.
The bio-based polymers in the bags break down anywhere micro-organisms and oxygen are present, including on land and in water. BioBags also help to divert food waste from landfill where up to 50% is organic waste that emits harmful greenhouse gases.
Scooping plastic out of Perth’s waterways is what Mark Loader from Cleanamarina does 365 days a year. Mark says it’s clear from what he collects that Perth has a plastic problem. So he’s not contributing to it, Mark uses compostable BioBags which break down with the sea grass he collects within about 5 weeks. He’s also tested to see how they break down in the river within about 12 weeks. Mark wants to spread the word that ‘Degradable’ bags are made of plastic that breaks down faster into micro-plastics that never go away.
Community urges shoppers to break up with the bag
The team behind an Adelaide community project called ‘Break Up With The Bag’, part of the City of Adelaide’s Community Leaders in Sustainability program, has been talking to the Adelaide Central Markets about plastic-free alternatives like compostable shopping bags and produce bags. The project team’s vision was to reduce plastic bag use in the Adelaide Central Markets by educating shoppers and stall holders on plastic free alternatives such as calico carry bags and compostable produce bags. South Australia has had a plastic bag ban since 2009 but it hasn’t stopped people from using plastic bags.
Students at Walkerville Primary School in South Australia are encouraged by East Waste to collect food organic waste from their school lunches to put in their local green bins.
Using BioBags means less mess, less odours and more hygiene for students.
Individuals use plastic-free zip lock bags and dog waste bags
Completely reducing the use of plastic is the sole aim of using bags made from compostable polymers says Scott Morton from BioBag World Australia. “Diverting plastic from landfill and the marine environment is our number one goal,” Scott said. “No plastic should be disposed of to landfill because it’s a waste of a valuable resource,” Scott said.
“Most of us are aware that plastic bags, including degradable and some biodegradable bags, leave micro-plastic pollution behind. Every piece of plastic ever created is still somewhere, unless it’s been burnt.
“Plastic-free, compostable bags are designed to divert plastic from our landfills and oceans. If a BioBag makes it into a landfill or the marine environment where oxygen and micro-organisms are present, it will break down in a matter of weeks, leaving no plastic residues behind,” Scott said.
Did you know scientists estimate that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans? About half of all plastic produced is for single-use or disposable items such as packaging. Choose to refuse single-use plastic this July by signing up for the Plastic Free July challenge at www.plasticfreejuly.org. You’ll be joining over 2 million people from 150 countries in making a difference.