TO RECYCLE OR COMPOST – OR SHOULD WE JUST BE REDUCING OUR WASTE OUTPUT?
We all want to do the right thing and dispose of our waste correctly, but the landscape and choices for disposing of our waste in the most eco-friendly way is a hot topic at the moment. Do we recycle? Do we compost? What can we recycle? Is this compostable? What is the difference between Home Composting and a Commercial Composting Facility? Putting something in the bin is now becoming a difficult decision and is confusing to many people.
As an importer/manufacturer of food packaging products, should I have a focus on recycling as the end waste stream for my products imported or should we be looking at products that can be composted, or is it a combination of both? Either is better than landfill but not knowing a firm direction, which will be the more readily available option for the disposal of waste product, gives uncertainty to those importers/manufacturers who are choosing their path for future products and packaging as the Apco 2025 packaging targets loom.
From an Infrastructure point of view – both are very limited at the moment in Australia, restricted by the costs of collections and then where do they sell the recycled or composted material to re-coupe the costs of collection and running the recycling or composting centres. There is a lot more we can do, but the processes to recycle some of the products in circulation are either currently not easy, or available.
So, to Recycle or to Compost? Either scenario is a good solution with both being better than landfill but to meet the targets proposed by APCO in 2025, there is a lot of work to do. From infrastructure to manufacturing, to educating the end user and ensuring these waste streams are closed.
National Recycling Week aligns strongly with our beliefs and values as a business and as individuals. In its 24th year, the initiative will take place from Monday 11th – Sunday 17th November 2019 and provides opportunities for local councils, workplaces, schools and individuals to consciously re-use and recycle. With the average Australian producing 750kg of waste on average per year, or in excess of 2kg every single day, Bygreen are conscious of the change and impact we can facilitate as a ‘green’ business and continue to promote products with a focus on sustainable practices and environmental benefits.
Wishing to contribute to the reduction of plastic waste in our environment, Bygreen (formerly Austraw/Qld Straw Factory,) as a company have made a number of changes to our business with a previous focus on manufacturing plastic drinking straws, to now having a number of Eco-Friendly Options available to meet our customer’s needs in the drinking straw category.
The plastic straw has been one product, highlighted heavily in the media and an easy target to reduce the need for. Although once a massive part of our business, over the last 5 years the directors have been working hard to offer more eco-friendly solutions in place of the single use plastics with products like Paper Straws, PLA – Plant Based Polymer Straws and Oxo-Biodegradable to now a range of Reusable products as well.
Hats off to the many companies on the work they have done to try and connect the dots, not only by providing a Commercially Compostable product or a Recyclable product, but then by trying to close the loop and get their products to where they should go with their own collection bins and services.
Bygreen will also look to do the same with our compostable/recyclable products in the future as well as educate (where possible) as we have a responsibility to ensure the products we sell get to where they need to go in the end.
In saying this, a responsible waste stream collection is not only for private enterprise to find solutions and educate – we need the help of a co-ordinated national approach from government, and motivated individuals.
Recycling and Composting is vitally important, however not high on the Waste Management Hierarchy.
First and foremost, we must look at where we can:
- “REDUCE” the amount of packaging we use every day by asking ourselves “Do we really need to buy those fruits and vegetables wrapped in a plastic tray at the supermarket?”
- “REUSE” Buy a reusable coffee cup instead of getting your coffee in a paper cup every day.
And then – if you have to buy a disposable product – ensure you
- “RECYCLE or COMPOST”– if you have to buy that bottle of water – make sure the empty bottle goes in the recycling bin.
At the beginning of a new era, Bygreen embarks on a conscious decision and shift to become more responsible in the products we source and sell to the Australian market, and to hopefully make a difference in the care of our environment.
Bygreen is now offering a range of Reusable Products – under our “Go Green Reusables” from straws to coffee cups, water bottles and drink trays with more to come.
Along with our range of Compostable Disposables, we are continually looking to improve on the remaining single use plastics we have and to transfer these to either a Recyclable Product or Compostable, including our packaging. Our paper straws now come in a great Kraft Cardboard Dispenser Pack, rather than plastic wrapped, just a small change that is helping improve our waste strategy, product by product.
If we can do it – everyone can.
We only have one planet and as the custodians of this earth, we need to look at making changes, be it large or small, to make a difference. We look forward to not having a planet drown in plastic waste and Bygreen will only stock and sell eco-friendly products moving forward.
“Going Green – Think Bygreen”
You can find ways to take part and contribute in the initiative by visiting recyclingnearyou.com.au
If you want to swap plastic for paper and do your bit to create a sustainable future ‘Buy Green’ at Bygreen.com.au