Up to 80 per cent of Australians don’t realise the value of recycling to the national economy – approximately $15.5 billion, according to new research released for Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week.
A new study from electronics manufacturer HP and Planet Ark has found 90 per cent of Australian consumers and businesses are concerned about environmental sustainability, with more than 70 per cent willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products.
The HP Australia Environmental Sustainability Study 2018 was commissioned to discover the perceptions, value and behaviours of Australians toward environmental sustainability.
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It surveyed more than 1000 people aged 27 to 53 and more than 600 businesses ranging from one to four employees to 51 to 500.
According to the study, most consumers and businesses see marine plastic pollution, landfill waste and the impact on the natural environment as the three leading environmental sustainability concerns.
The study also found a lack of awareness about e-waste, reporting that half of Australian consumers and 44 per cent of businesses do not recycle printer ink and toner cartriages.
HP South Pacific Interim Managing Director Paul Gracey said Australians are starting to recognise the impact of their day to day behaviours.
“Through this research collaboration we aim to help Australian consumers uncover new ways to help the planet, while putting a spotlight on the need for businesses and brands to take meaningful action towards becoming more environmentally sustainable – both for the health of the planet and to future-proof their business,” Mr Gracey said.
Planet Ark Recycling Programs Manager Ryan Collins said it is no longer enough for companies to have environmentally sustainable practices and should encourage these behaviours in others.
“Today’s consumers have good intentions but look to brands to help them to make positive changes towards protecting the environment in their day to day. At Planet Ark, our focus is on enabling companies to be part of the solution and we’re proud to be working alongside HP to better educate Australian consumers and businesses,” Mr Collins said.
For more information on the report, click here.
Planet Ark is releasing a free guide for businesses to help them manage waste better to mark its annual Business Recycling campaign.
The War on Waste Toolkit for Business contains ten tools, including a recycling checklist to ask prospective recyclers. Information on recycled options for paper and stationary is also available for office managers to help them recycle efficiently.
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It also encouraged workers to use reusable alternatives to items like coffee cups, water bottles and shopping bags.
Construction and demolition processing mean tradesmen and builders can also recycle and use products from recycled materials.
Planet Ark designed the toolkit after 3.7 million Australians watched the ABC’s War on Waste in 2017, which prompted an unprecedented amount of inquiries on how businesses can do their part to recycle.
The NSW Environment Protection Agency (EPA) along with Planet Ark, has found financially beneficial and effective ways for staff and employers to reduce waste.
For businesses that produce high volume of waste, the Small Scale Recycling Equipment Catalogue matches them with suppliers of equipment including compactors and balers to reduce costs and save time.
Planet Ark’s Recycling Programs Manager Ryan Collins says it will be an essential resource as Australia’s business waste grows.
“A 2016 report found that the average business produces 849 kg of waste per person each year. That’s where the Toolkit comes in. It gives employees and business owners free advice on how to turn their waste into valuable resources,” he said.
For more information get in touch with our communications team using the details below or visit BusinessRecycling.com.au.