Remade In Australia Campaign ♻️ Podcast Ep. 16 Don’t Be A Waster
Remade In Australia Campaign ♻️ Podcast Ep. 16 Don’t Be A Waster
In this episode of our podcast on all things recycling – we discuss the Remade In Australia campaign that you should definitely take a look at.
Transcript – Remade In Australia Campaign
Hello and welcome to another edition of our regular podcast on all things recycling and recycling related that is “Recycle: Don’t Be A Waster!” I almost forgot the name of her own podcast not a great start but yeah hopefully we’ll pick up through the episode. So, one thing – I’m recording this podcast at the end of February 2022, so 20th of February: the last day of summer in Australia. And if like me, you have been out on the roads on the highways, you might have noticed some some adverts or billboards, things like that on the on the roadsides, also on television and cinema ads, I believe for a project called remade Australia or remade in Australia campaign. And this is a federal.
It seems to be a federal Australian government, commonwealth government program promoting recycling, but I suppose I would describe it as a new type of recycling or certainly a new slant on recycling that I think I want to probably draw attention to in today’s episode. So, I think traditionally recycling in Australia and I’m sure in many other countries the branding or the marketing – the promotion the, description of it has really been focused on the traditional recycling concept i.e. you get an item you recycle it into a similar item or, you know, or the same item again, you know, whether that’s a plastic bottle, a glass bottle, an aluminium can – whatever it is that’s a valuable resource you take that resource, you process it in a plant – designated plant specializing in that material and hey! presto out the other end you produce the same thing all over again. So in theory, you’re reusing that item and that’s, I suppose, the best news story about recycling.
It’s the story we all like to hear and see but obviously, there are significant issues with that and you know, we’ve covered this in previous podcasts that scenario is certainly true in the examples of glass, in the examples of cardboard, in the examples of aluminium whereby they’re almost perfectly recyclable. You can make them again and, you know, an aluminium can. You buy your soft drink or your beer can or whatever it is you can process it, recycle it and you can then package the same product again in the exact same material so that is that’s the good news story obviously. When it gets into plastic, and again we’ve covered this in previous episodes, plastic is a much trickier beast and plastic, you know, as a rule of thumb, can only be recycled a certain number of times into the same product. The polymers weaken and you have to add more and more consistently virgin plastic or fresh plastic to make it high enough product, to make into the same product again.
So recycling of plastic, you know, for a soft drink again we use that very common an item a soft drink or a water bottle to recycle it into another bottle. It’s not really a closed loop. You need to add more plastic into the mix so each time and if you don’t do that it will degrade and not be high enough quality of material to package anything really. And this is where this program – sorry that’s a long-winded intro – but that’s where this program of Remade In Australia campaign to me seems to be appearing.
It seems to be a different slightly different approach to the recycling issue so it’s been branded it’s Remade Australia – this Remade In Australia campaign – and it really seems to be promoting aspects such as you know what I would regard as end-of-life recycling options for low-grade plastic whereby you can take a product that a material that probably cannot be used for another commercial usage is plastic it’s low-grade plastic it’s potentially been recycled x number of times and the program seems to be about promoting using it for final like end of life stuff such as roads flooring and park benches aspects like that insulation stuff low grade materials whereby you’re using the benefits that that material has but probably not in a commercial manner and maybe more as a an alternative to landfill or incineration for that plant so it’s is it recycling.
It is recycling because you’re reusing something in the definition of recycling but it’s probably certainly the last stage let’s call it the last stop on the bus route you know it’s we’ve already got on and off that bus number of times and this is the end of the road so you know what’s my view on this I think it’s a good idea I think it’s very much following on from the examples of companies such as red cycle you know you I think we again covered in a previous episode where in red cycle you can dispose of your soft plastics those hard recycle items that can’t go in your commingle bit at home or in your business and it’s plastic bags it’s plastic wrap it’s coloured plastics it’s low-grade plastics that can’t be recycled anywhere else and they are recycled into again very similar low-grade materials insulation flooring park furniture roads as well and I think we’ll probably dedicate an actual episode to the concept of plastic roads which is a burgeoning sector in in Australia and also in other countries and obviously has the potential to absorb a huge amount of waste plastic just given the sheer scale of road building so I think I think the remade in Australia campaign program is really piggybacking on this concept I think there’s also another company called replaced who make other stuff such as barriers plastic barriers also which are generally done through a charitable basis I believe and it’s piggybacking on that concept and it’s utilizing the same approach.
And I think my personal view is I think it is useful the it’s making people aware of maybe you know what maybe we’re backing away from the concept of true the traditional concept of recycling over and over again you know without including a closed-loop format without any hiccups this clearly is more of an end of the road style approach and I think it is it is important and it’s I think it’s a very opportune time for Australia to discuss this and to raise the issues about what do we do with this you know even if we’re recycling as much as possible we still can’t recycle everything and it has to go somewhere and so this aspect of plastic roads plastic buildings you know park furniture etc probably is not that bad an option you know in the intermediate phase obviously you know the next question is nothing lasts forever these obviously plastic can last a very long time but it will degrade road building and we’ll cover this in the future episode but you know this park furniture etc fundamentally that is the end of the road for it and it will probably still have to end up in landfill you know once that park gets renovated once that park bench degrades over a period of time you know whether through sunlight or whatever is out in the out in the open elements and so it theoretically says delaying the inevitable it’s a delaying the inevitable.
But obviously, with that, you are preventing or reducing the need for new materials new carbon or you know petrol-based Petro-chemical based production so it is it has to be seen as a net benefit for the environment and clearly is better than dumping a landfill obviously it will not last forever and it’s an intermediate phase how long that phase lasts who knows but eventually it will have to either face the same the same issue that all plastic faces sooner or later which is landfill or fundamental incineration so you know I think it’s an interesting step I think it’s obviously useful as long as we’re building items and materials that people actually want that give them a benefit you know obviously roads are beneficial to people if they go in directions that people want to travel park furniture etc of course we just need to be sure that we’re not just utilizing something to make a useless product that nobody really needs or wants end of the day you know park furniture et cetera is useful but is it better than you know than a plastic a wooden bench or even you know do we do we always need these items.
So I suppose it’s not a complete solution to the problem you know of plastic that we that we we’ve made for ourselves but clearly it’s certainly not the worst option it’s not the worst way to deal with these with these product problems and certainly is better than landfill as long as long as with the one big proviso that these materials are well maintained they’re looked after they’re not degrading out in the open atmosphere in the you know the wind in the rain we’re not seeing micro plastics blow away into rivers wildlife etc which you know obviously could those are severe negatives that we would have to look at also but I think in general I think I’d like to hear your feedback on when you see these ads when you see them I saw one in the cinema the other day I saw one on the highway and I’d be interested to see what you think of them and what you think of the project so again yeah I think it’s always good to discuss the latest news and I think we’ll leave it there today with the again, Recycle: don’t be a Waster!