Are we asking the right question?
With the plastic bag ban just weeks away, a hot topic of discussion right now is plastic bin liners.
A lot of people rely on their plastic shopping bags for this function and are now faced with the eventuality that they will have to purchase plastic bin liners to use in their place, or find another alternative.
Some ideas being put forward include wrapping waste in newspaper and going without a liner, or using a paper liner for their bins. Going back to plastic, we have options for purchasing biodegradable, degradable or compostable bags.
Change is met with dislike at the best of times. Throw in too many options however, and it just becomes confusing.
I think we are getting distracted by the real question we should be contemplating, and it’s a very simple one.
Everything that we put in our rubbish bin goes into landfill. So when everything we throw “away” goes into a big hole in the ground, a big hole just far enough from inhabited space for it not to be a health hazard, shouldn’t that be our focus?
How can we reduce what goes into landfill?
Should the question we contemplate “how can we reduce what actually goes in our bins” rather than what we use to wrap it?
Soon enough we will run out of holes to bury our waste, and what then?
Top tips for reducing waste
- Stay away from single use anything – stock up on reusable cups and drink bottles, metal straws and reusable eating utensils, and don’t forget your reusable shopping bags!
- Make purchase choices based on how it is packaged. Is there an option that has less packaging and is all the packaging recyclable?
- Take-away food. Dine in or stay in. Having a sit-down meal at a restaurant or staying home and cooking the meal from scratch means no greasy packaging or plastic knives and forks.
- Buy a compost bin or worm farm for food scraps and compostable waste. If you’re lucky enough to have the space – get some chooks (fresh eggs!)
- Plan. Buy only what you need and will use, freeze left-over food for later
The good news is you will be rewarded for your efforts, by reducing what you waste you’ll find that you are actually spending less money.
Not only are you saving the planet, but you are saving money as well!
These are just my thoughts on the matter – feel free to add to the discussion in the comments below…