Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week is reminding Australians that much of what we currently send to landfill is actually valuable material that could be reused, repurposed or recycled. This year’s theme – “Waste isn’t waste until it’s wasted” – focuses on simple and actionable tips that enable Australians to keep those valuable materials in circulation, whether at home, work or school.
Running from November 7-13, National Recycling Week provides opportunities for residents and workplaces to learn simple methods of reducing their environmental footprint and preventing waste. You’re invited to:
• Host or join recycling-themed events,
• Brush up on your recycling knowledge with educational resources,
• Learn about new developments in recycling policy and technology, and
• Discover tricks to reduce what you’re sending to landfill and ensure resources don’t go to waste.
At GECA, we know that buying products and materials made from recycled content is a significant step to shift our economy from linear to circular. By buying recycled this National Recycling Week and beyond, you’re helping keep materials out of landfill and groundwater, growing new markets and encouraging more manufacturers to use recycled materials and rethink product design. Minimising the consumption of virgin resources can save water and energy and reduce pollution.
It has been very encouraging to see recycled content increasingly prioritised for public procurement across the country. And with such a strong push for the manufacture and procurement of recycled content products, it’s critical to have transparency and sustainability across the product or materials’ entire lifecycle. There’s no benefit to having a product made from 95% recycled materials if the workers within the supply chain are exploited or the chemicals used in its manufacture damage freshwater ecosystems. That’s where GECA’s standard comes in!
A snapshot of the key requirements within our Recycled Products standard
Unlike other recycled content products, those that are GECA certified must meet criteria for a wide range of environmental, human health and social impacts while proving that they perform as promised.
According to Planet Ark’s research, the annual recycling rate in Australia has increased from just 7% in 1996, or 1.5 million total tonnes recycled, to more than 60% of all disposed materials. That means we’ve gone from just 1.5 million tonnes of material recycled to a massive 43 million tonnes each year!
“Recycling in Australia has come a long way since 1996 and is highly valuable for both our environment and our economy,” says Planet Ark co-CEO Rebecca Gilling.
“But there is still more we could be doing to ensure valuable resources don’t end up wasted in landfill. That’s why this year Planet Ark wants people to pause and think about what they are currently sending to landfill and ask whether it is waste after all.”