Does Your Waste Deserve Better?

I’ve been told by a lot of people, that I’m “strong willed”, “driven” and sometimes even “stubborn”. It took me a little while, but I’ve become okay with it.
I’ve also been lucky enough to have been told “you can do anything that you put your mind to” and I honestly believe, the greatest drivers to my success, are in my own hands.
But one day at work, I started to think… maybe I won’t…
Maybe I won’t put the thought and effort into being what I want to be. Maybe I’ll let life pass me by, let situations just happen to me, without trying to do better.
And I really didn’t like the idea of that. I thought to myself…what a waste!
And I get that same kind of feeling when I drop my plastic smoothie cup into the general waste bin at Westfield.
This is a wasted opportunity.
This is a plastic cup, it is exactly that! 25 grams of plastic that took water, energy and half a litre of oil to make [1].
And this is the very last time that it will ever be used.
This is it’s last purpose in the world, to hold my one drink for 12 minutes, before I discard it forever.
Before it joins nappies and old shoes in the mystical abyss that is landfill. Where no one will ever know where it is or what it could be used for.
And it will sit there, for around 1200 years [1]. This plastic cup will out live me.
It will be on this planet, useless, for centuries. And it’s only purpose ever, was to hold my drink for 12 minutes.


I can only imagine the amount of energy society would have to spend to reclaim resources from landfill when we eventually run out of things like oil or even land.
And I’m thinking about the hundreds of plastic cups already in landfill from my smoothie habits so far in life.
And the worst part is, this is completely avoidable!
Or maybe that’s the best part? We can absolutely avoid this mess, this waste!
Clean Up Australia tells us that about 46% of recyclable content is recycled in Australia. Frankly, our waste deserves better…
If you’re the last owner of a plastic cup, then you control where it ends up. If you think about having to pay $7.20 for a smoothie, the 400 extra calories you now have to log in your fitness tracker, or even the $25 in dry cleaning costs for spilling it on your new shirt; should you also be considering the impact your actions had on our resource use? On the beautiful natural world you love to look at while sipping smoothies?
After all, the world we live in is ours to look after.
Sometimes you can’t BYO cup, but you can find a way to recycle what you use, and give it a better story than landfill.
If you’d like to know more about recycling, check out these links:
Planet Ark TV – Sorting Your Recycling
CSWD – How Recycling Works: Behind the Scenes at the MRF

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References:
1. Cool Australia Organisation. Bottled Water. https://www.coolaustralia.org/bottled-water-secondary/. Published 2017. Accessed February 06, 2018.

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