Sustainable Spring: Recycling!
We know that this isn’t a new idea, but as part of Sustainable Spring, we wanted to remind everyone that recycling is cool! While we here at Blackhearts & Sparrows endeavour to minimise plastic usage by only offering paper carry bags, and working with producers who are sustainably minded – we’re still conscious that working within the packaged drinks business as it stands inevitably means that there’ll be waste byproducts.
As such, we’ve been thinking a lot about recycling as of late, especially with the recent issues with some domestic recyclables being sent to landfill (rather than appropriate processing). By prioritising recycling we decrease the need for the production of new materials (which often uses non-renewable resources), reduce the environmental impact of waste sitting in landfill, and preserve energy by creating new products from re-purposed materials.
While there are, of course, larger systemic changes that need to happen in the production of materials and the re-use and recycling of them across the world – we thought that a little recycling refresher in the interim wouldn’t go astray.
When it comes to items like our handled Blackhearts & Sparrows carry bags, and plastic clip-top beer holders – you can just bring them back to your local store. We can always re-use them (some beer clip-tops even go back to brewers like Molly Rose to go atop newly canned beers), and it’s great to see your faces more often!
Each area around Australia has different rules and limitations regarding domestic recycling, so best practice is to head to your local council website to see what their initiatives and practices are – but here are some general tips to make sure your contribution is as useful as possible:
- Remove caps and lids from bottles (labels can stay on) – give them a rinse and ensure anything going into your recycling is clean.
- Broken drinking glasses, glass ovenware, and window glass typically can’t be recycled as they’re often heat treated (According to VISY, as little as 15gms of this non-acceptable glass per tonne can result in one tonne of valuable glass going to landfill).
- Soft plastics aren’t currently suitable for your typical recycling bin, so make sure any chip packets go in your regular bin (or to plastic bag collection bins at major supermarkets), and that your glass, cans, hard plastics, and cardboard go into your recycling bin loose – no need for a bin bag.
- Polystyrene, batteries, e-waste, and paint need to betaken to specialist recycling facilities
Some promising recycling initiatives and explorations around Australia:
- Yarra City’s Waste Revolution (Abbotsford Trial)
- Maribyrnong Council’s waste reduction program
- ACT’s Recycling Discovery Hub
- Hobart’s ‘Waste Wall’ concept
Not sure where to start? Here are some resources to kickstart you.
- Head to the Recycling Near You website and pop in your postcode to find out more / plus check out – Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week, Nov 11-17
- Sustainability Victoria has some easy explainers covering pretty much anything you’d want to know about, including recycling (of course)!
- Environment Victoria