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Have We Won the War on Waste?

By Asha Kayla & Nicola Saltman, Waverley Sustainable Communities on January 7, 2018 in Other

Craig drinks a lot of coffee

Have we won the war on waste? Not yet, but there’s been a flurry of positive action since the ABC’s recent TV series War on Waste hit our screens six months ago. With over 3.7 million viewers, the three-part series (plus number four recently) has shone a light on the stuff we consume and throw away, hitting a raw nerve with the nation.
So, what has happened since the series aired? Without a doubt, there has been a huge public and business response to this series, with remarkable impacts. It’s said that a key role of the media is to give society an honest reflection of itself, and War on Waste certainly did that. It has started conversations, promoted local action, and increased the heat on businesses and government to do more.

Key highlights
• On social media, #WaronWasteAU has been the biggest hashtag campaign in ABC’s history. Over 50 independent related Facebook groups were set up across the country, with communities eager to do more to change their current waste status quo.
• Responsible Cafés, a café discount program for BYO coffee cups, has increased their membership eight-fold, with 3,000 cafés now signed up to its program. Join up at www.responsiblecafés.org.
• Reusable cup manufacturer Keep Cup reported a 400% increase in sales as a result of the series, and single use ‘cup shaming’ is now a thing in many offices (it is in ours).
• Website recyclingnearyou.com.au saw a 60% increase in web traffic.
• Compost Revolution reported a 379% increase of new households signed up from previous average yearly figures. Worm demand increased so much that all live worm suppliers in Victoria and NSW were out of stock for two months following the May broadcast.
• The big supermarkets, Coles, Woolworths, and Harris Farm, which all featured in the series, have since announced lightweight plastic bag bans.

While we may be getting serious about fighting this war, the battle is not yet won. The war on waste needs all of us. In Waverley we are constantly working on our own war on waste with our ambitious waste targets, and making waste reduction and recycling second nature.

Join us in the good fight
• Recycle your problem waste – You can now recycle old mobile phones, tablets, ink cartridges, and batteries at new recycling stations at Waverley Library and the Customer Service Centre.
• Bin it so you don’t swim in it – Pick up rubbish to protect our waterways and parks from litter. It’s a quick win and the marine life will appreciate it too!
• Join Compost Revolution – Recycle your food scraps at home with discounted compost bins
and worm farms. Please visit
• Choose to reuse – Remember your reusable coffee cup for your morning fix, and ditch plastic water bottles and plastic bags for reusable options.
• Recycle your E-waste – Thanks to the many who rocked up to our E-Waste day in November (even by bike!) to recycle their old appliances and equipment. Check out www.waverley.nsw.gov.au/ waste_and_recycling for the next event. Plastic is recycled into car dashboards, and the precious metals are recovered and used to create new electronics.

For more information, please email secondnature@waverley.nsw.gov.au.
Book in for fun sustainability activities at our beaches this January by visiting summeramawave.eventbrite.com.au.
Note: Statistics were supplied by Bronte local Andy Marks, ABCs Impact Producer. All facts were accurate at the time of writing.



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