Australia is going through a large change, with the removal of plastic bags from retailers. For the over thinking millennial that I am, this brings up 2 questions.
Will there be any negative fall out?
What’s the next change we can make?
If you’re no longer getting single use bags from your supermarket, chances are, you’ll start buying bin liners. In fact, when SA banned the bag back in 2009, the amount of shoppers buying bin liners rose from 15% to 80%!
Last July I participated in Plastic Free July. They give you a checklist of changes you can make. One that I didn’t even consider trying was “Stop using bin liners”. I’ve since come around! Here’s how we did it.
1.Remove food scraps from your bin
Keep vegetable offcuts and left overs in a sealed container for composting. Food scraps have heaps of nutrients, but will release methane gas if they end up in landfill, without the oxygen to decompose.
2.Rinse all the gross stuff
You’ll reduce the smell and any juicy bits if you rinse things like egg shells and food wrappers before you put them in the bin.
If you’re still concerned, lay some newspaper and baking powder in the bottom of the bin, wrap gross things in paper, and rinse or wipe out the bin frequently
3.Reduce the waste you bring home
If you avoid buying things with excess packaging, you won’t have to lug it all back to the wheelie bin. I’m talking about individually wrapped snacks and disposable products.
4.Recycle, recycle, recycle
Most of our “waste” can be recycled. Hard plastics, cans and paper can go in your yellow commingled recycling. Check out your councils website for any tricky ones like plastic plates and cardboard Tetra Pak bottles.
Soft plastics like food wrappers and bags can go to Redcycle. You can find these bins out front of most supermarkets now.
Companies also fund the recycling of their products through Terracycle. You can get a free shipping label from their website and return things like make up bottles, toothpaste tubes and coffee pods.
Here’s the recycling set up at our place. I can’t take credit for this! My housemate is a champ.
CSD is for the container deposit scheme, Red Cycle is for our soft plastics, the black tub is for commingled recycling and the white bin is for anything we can’t find a use for. We also have food scraps on the bench or in the fridge, and I’m lucky enough to now have a Terracycle return point at work.
The trick to avoiding the fall out from the plastic bag ban, is to think about what you buy and what you put into landfill. Do your bit too keep the planet pretty!