Over 40 per cent of Australians believe workplaces lack recycling options, according to new research commissioned by Planet Ark.
The Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) celebrated its second anniversary this week, with APCO, Planet Ark and PREP Design now on the hunt for the program’s 500th member.
A new trial aims to divert spent coffee grounds from landfill and repurpose them into higher value uses.
Planet Ark will begin the Coffee 4 Planet Ark trial in September in Sydney, in collaboration Bingo industries and with leading coffee roasters and members, such as Lavazza. Tata Global Beverages via its Map Coffee brand will collect spent coffee grounds from limited corporate businesses in Melbourne.
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The program aims to roll out around the country in 2019 after it identifies the best and most cost-effective collection method.
Planet Ark undertook a 2016 feasibility study that found almost 2800 tonnes of spent coffee grounds are sent to landfill in Sydney alone.
Once in landfill, the grounds would begin to break down and produce methane. Diverting the spent grounds from Sydney would save approximately 1600 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions annually, according to the study.
To develop new end uses for coffee grounds, Planet Ark has begun working with the SMaRT centre at the University of New South Wales. It has also secured a partnership with Circular Food to produce a nutrient rich soil fertiliser called Big Bio, which will utilise the collected grounds.
Planet Ark CEO Paul Klymenko said the Coffee 4 Planet Ark program was an important step in ensuring spent coffee grounds were being used to their greatest potential rather than entering landfill.
‘Currently, the vast majority of coffee grounds produced after extracting your coffee are going to landfill. Planet Ark believes in creating a circular economy where all resources are used to their greatest potential,’ Mr Klymenko said.
‘We are thrilled to be working with some of Australia’s leading coffee roasters to trial a collection and repurposing system for coffee ground waste.’
Planet Ark has announced it will renew its partnership with Bingo Industries Limited to continue the companies’ commitments to diverting waste from landfill and moving towards a circular economy.
The partnership will now focus on making Bingo the most sustainable company on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) by creating a solar power network through the installation of solar panels on the rooftops of Bingo’s recycling and recovery facilities.
The partnership originally began in 2011 and has seen Planet Ark and Bingo collaborating on sustainability initiatives including a waste education program for primary schools aimed at building awareness and encouraging positive environmental practices.
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Bingo Chief Executive Officer Daniel Tartak said the seven-year partnership with Planet Ark has been invaluable.
“What we have been able to achieve together is something I am very proud of and with our renewed partnership we will be striving for even bigger, more ambitious sustainability goals,” Mr Tartak said.
“Our aim is to lead the industry in sustainable business practices and be a steward of change by increasing the diversion of waste from landfill and investing in new state of the art technology to increase recovery rates,” he said.
Planet Ark Chief Executive Officer Paul Klymenko said Planet Ark is proud of the partnership and relationship with Bingo Industries.
“It’s been very rewarding to work with what was once a small family owned skip bin company and see it grow to become an exemplar for others in the recovery and recycling of building and demolition waste,” Mr Klymenko said.
“They are major disruptors in the industry and together we are shaping the way forward for the waste industry.”
“For the next phase of our partnership, we’re excited to help make Bingo the most sustainable company on the ASX. We will achieve this by installing solar and smart battery energy systems across their sites, improving their energy and water efficiency and reducing the environmental impact of their truck fleet,” he said.
Bingo is a major sponsor of Planet Ark’s updated Recycling Near You website, to help millions of Australians find recycling drop off locations.
Supermarket giant Woolworths has announced its supermarkets will no longer provide shoppers with single-use plastic bags from 20 June 2018.
The move also effects its BWS, Metro and Woolworths Petrol stores, where group wide more than 3.2 billion plastic bags are handed out each year.
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Woolworths Group stated last year that it would end the use of plastic bags by the end of June 2018 in states where there had not been a ban implemented yet.
Woolworths Group Chief Executive Officer Brad Banducci said the company feels strongly that this is the right thing to do.
“Our teams have been working hard behind the scenes to accelerate the rollout of this plan so we can start making a positive impact on the environment as quickly as possible,” Mr Banducci said.
“We know this is a big change for our customers and store teams, and we need to do all we can to make the transition as seamless as possible for both.
“To this end, we have a dozen supermarkets across Australia going single-use plastic bag free from today. We’ll closely monitor feedback from customers in these stores and apply any lessons we learn to our national rollout on 20 June.”
The 12 Woolworths stores phasing out plastic bags from today are:
- NSW – Woolworths Marayong, Greenway Village, Dural, Mullumbimby
- VIC – Woolworths Wyndham Vale, Taylors Lakes, Toorak
- QLD – Woolworths Mossman, Noosa Civic
- WA – Woolworths Singleton, South Fremantle, Cottesloe
Planet Ark Chief Executive Officer Paul Klymenko said this is a welcome move by Woolworths that will have a positive effect on the environment.
“Single-use plastic bags have become a huge problem for Australia’s oceans and waterways where they cause significant harm to turtles, whales and fish. They also don’t breakdown in landfill and require significant resources to manufacture in the first place,” Mr Klymenko said.
“Experiences in countries like the UK and Ireland have shown the introduction of small charges on plastic bags can end up reducing plastic bag usage by up to 85 percent as shoppers embrace reusable alternatives, and we have every confidence this can happen in Australia too,” he said.
Boomerang Alliance Director Jeff Angel said the community wants action on the alarming growth of plastic pollution.
“It is gratifying to see retailers like Woolworths moving on plastic bags to help save our oceans and wildlife, with international scientific consensus putting bags in the top three dangers of ingestion and entanglement of marine life,” Mr Angel said.
“We encourage shoppers to adopt reusable bags. Of course, there’s much more to do in stores to reduce our plastic footprint and we look forward to working with consumers, retailers and government to push the agenda along,” he said.
Woolworths has also said it aims to offer flexible plastic recycling options in all supermarkets via the REDcycle program. REDcycle allows customers to return soft plastic packaging used for produce, frozen food, confectionary packets and shopping bags that are then sent to recycling partners. The material collected are then turned into products like outdoor furniture.