Author: Sara McGregor
When Australians settle down for a post-feast nap this Christmas, there will be one traditional sound missing – the argument over what goes in the recycling.
Planet Ark has teamed up with RecycleSmart to release a new, free smart phone app designed to answer all those tricky waste and recycling questions - it’s our Christmas gift to you!
While Christmas wouldn’t be the same without gifts and festive treats, councils report that waste spikes dramatically over December and January, with some reporting increases of 30%. It is a time that we spend more, eat more and party more than any other time of the year.
The new interactive app draws data from the RecyclingNearYou site for every Australian council and allows users to easily search for information about how to recycle over 170 household items. So regardless of where your holiday road trip takes you, local recycling information is a click away.
Our recent research shows that 99% of us are confused about the recyclability of at least one common item of packaging so the app aims to reduce kerbside confusion as well as providing local options for items not accepted in household bins, this Christmas and throughout the year. It can also help settle those recycling debates with family on Christmas Day!
The app has been released as part of Planet Ark’s The 12 DOs of Christmas awareness campaign, which includes tips for reducing food waste and excess packaging, buying green gifts and recycling items commonly used at seasonal celebrations. These include wrapping paper, foil, custard cartons, drink containers, as well as computers, phones, printer cartridges and more.
As much as half of all municipal waste that goes to landfill is food, and at Christmas this waste increases. Planning ahead, opening food as you go and resisting the urge to over-cater will reduce this waste and the cost of Christmas.
Electronic gadgets are an increasingly common present, but with more SIM cards on the planet than people, and the fact that electronics include non-renewable and toxic materials, it’s important to make sure that old ones are re-homed or responsibly recycled.
A few simple actions, combined with downloading the free App, can make a big impact on the environment and our pockets over the festive season and into the New Year.
For more information call the Recycling Hotline on 1300 733 712
Sara was the Media Manager at Planet Ark for over 5 years. She has held a variety of media and communications roles in both the non-profit and private sectors, including positions in the UK, Ireland and Canada.