An ABC and University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures report has found the War on Waste inspired many waste reduction initiatives across public, private and community sectors.
The report identified 452 high-impact initiatives including Woolworths’ decision to remove plastic straws from stores in Australia and New Zealand, the Western Australian Government’s ban on single-use plastic bags and schools introducing commingled recycling and e-waste collections.
Other reported impacts include a rise in cafes offering discounts to customers with reusable cups, and hospitals replacing single-use polystyrene with reusable products.
According to a statement from the ABC, almost half the 280 organisations in the report reduced waste in their operations, services or products based on ideas from War on Waste.
Institute for Sustainable Futures Research Lead and report co-author Jenni Downes said widespread adoption of the ‘war on waste’ slogan demonstrated a new consciousness in communities and raised expectations.
ABC Impact Producer and report co-author Teri Calder said the program had provided foundations for policy change.
“The biggest impact of the program has been inspiring those with the power to make changes in businesses, governments, education institutions and community organisations,” Ms Calder said.
“The ABC is proud to have sparked a national conversation and inspired action to reduce our collective waste footprint.”
The report found that while many public education campaigns struggle to shift behaviours, viewers responded well to War on Waste’s ‘motivating’ format and ‘solutions-focused’ approach.
More than two-thirds of the 3.3 million viewers of the second series reported changes in waste behaviours, according to separate ABC audience data.