Saw a display about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch on the weekend at a Sea Life (previously Underwater World) aquarium. 8 million tonnes of rubbish into the ocean annually is just 😮 ...
Here in Oz reportedly only 14% of plastic is recovered for recycling/energy recovery but:
- Ministers have endorsed a target of 100% of Aussie packaging to be 'recyclable, compostable or reusable' by 2025;
- As of this year, all but one State/Territory have banned single- use plastic bags (Mine 😐 so I still see them occasionally, but the largest supermarket and department stores don't stock them), and one chain also has a "soft plastic" collection scheme going;
- Most States are introducing bottle collection stations that pay ~ $0.10 for the deposit of a recyclable, single-serve beverage container (we currently use these as generators of the kids' pocket money 😄
The last couple of initiatives (in particular) seem to have sparked a greater level of general awareness and conscientiousness about plastics in the community - I'm seeing more paper/steel straws and reusable coffee cups on circulation, for example.
General recycling is handled differently by each State, but usually plastics are collected fortnightly.
I've noticed Canberra/ACT in particular has designated recycling bins next to every public rubbish bin, which I found awesome.
The Dept of Environment and Energy is pushing a 'voluntary phase-out of microbeads from personal care and cosmetic products', and a recent survey found 94% of supermarket and pharmacy stores were microbead free, with NO shampoos, conditioners, body washes or hand cleaners containing beads, which is also cool 🙂