By Luke Stewart
16 November 2022
It was quite a difficult few weeks for sustainability in Western Australia. We were made aware of the temporary cessation of REDcycle’s soft plastic recycling operations. Unfortunately, until their operations recommence, or new sustainable solutions are found, most soft plastic waste will be landfilled or incinerated.
We also heard from the Mayor of Gosnells who was touting burning food organics and green waste for energy rather than composting it with the FOGO three-bin system. This has the State Government frustrated and as WA Environment Minister Reece Whitby remarked, we need to be focused on “getting that goodness out of the food and the garden organics and putting it back into the soil…” which “…is the most diminished from a nutrient point-of-view that it’s been in history.”
But, beyond these disappointments, we have also been given snippets of hope.
Coles has launched recycled plastic wine bottles, the NSW Government has approved the funding for 7.4 million dollars towards recycling solar panels, and new advanced methods for recycling polystyrene have been published.
Amongst these happenings we saw Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek speak to the national media and canvass Australia’s’ potential to be more sustainable when it comes to recycling, stating “We’ve got the scientists, we’ve got the engineers, we’ve got the technicians, we’ve got the materials – we’ve got people who know how to keep these precious resources in circulation.”
And we do.
We also have a population wanting to be sustainable, are climate change aware, and see the need to make environmentally conscious decisions for our state, for our children, and for our future.