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Post Info TOPIC: The question of recycling.


Guru

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The question of recycling.


This is a general question, not necessarily aimed at campers. When the issue of recycling comes up, on the media for instance, we the consumer are made to feel at blame. However it is the producer of the product that is causing the problem, we just have to take care of the results. Sooooo if we could reduce packaging, then land waste and recycling would be reduced.

It has to be that in order to do that the manufacturer has to be hurt in their pockets in order to bring about change. So my proposal is to put a tax on packaging. Yes the goods overly packaged would be more expensive, those with no packaging would be cheapest, and we have already achieved our goal. The examples of this are the markets selling fruit and veg, and the customers picking directly from the crates, filling their own bags.

What would the tax be used for, to pay for cleaning up the problem they are creating.

What I want to know is how hard would bringing in a tax on packaging be to administer, the idea sounds OK, maybe just impossible to make it work.

Your ideas ?



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Newbie

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I think you will find most of the packaging is driven by the retailer. They want to pay minimum staff for shelf packing, If an item is not able to be put onto the shelve quickly they will need more staff to fill the shelves. It's called shelf ready packaging.

If you want to change things have a go at the retailer not the manufacture.

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Guru

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In Europe the retailer is legally responsible for disposing of the packaging (including for white goods and electrical appliances).
Return the packaging to the retailer.
The more they get, the more pressure they will put on the manufacturer (and they can put a lot of pressure on the manufacturer).

When we are travelling on the road long term, we stop once a month or so to do our grocery shopping. We will then transfer most foods to our own containers and often have a 'cook-up' in the supermarket car park. We then return all of the packaging to the shop where we purchased it. If they have no bin, we take it back to the check out.
Cheers,
Peter

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Guru

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The packaging may be driven by the retailer, but its done by the manufacturer. When people don't buy the products and choose another, that's when it hurts.
Maybe returning the packaging to the retailer would work, but it isn't their fault you chose the packed, washed carrots over the loose ones.
And even if the packaging is returned, they just send it to land fill, the idea is to prevent the problem occurring at all.

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Living in the same block of units for 3 decades we have moticed in recent years how much more packaging there is. Also multi material packaging which is effectively impossible to separate the plastic from paper.

Having been in the architectural industry, the amount of perfectly good buildings knocked down & rebuilt is wasteful. Digging sides of sandstone hills away for massive basements & excessive parking. 

Actually picked up a few useful bits off a council pick up today. One was a perfectly new piece of aluminium angle.

 



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There is some sort of Parliament enquiry into excess packaging at the moment, unless it got buried in Covid related stuff. No there is a thought, " Both Covid and excess packaging " come from where ? Dare I say .....

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Cheers Craig



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In my view, the type and volume of packaging whether it be a packet of screws, a kg of carrots or music CD, is almost always driven by the retailer.
White goods and the like is driven by the manufacturer and the need to protect the product.
Expanded polystyrene foam and polyethylene film are almost never recycled in Australia. Both are in Europe and have been for many years - read decades.
In both cases, the retailer has more influence over the manufacturer than the customer.
Cheers,
peter

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iana wrote:

 but its done by the manufacturer. 


 This was your comment I was referring to. The manufacture will supply what the customer wants or they risk losing the contract.

iana wrote:

 the idea is to prevent the problem occurring at all.


 This I agree with 100%

I think the only way things will change is if most people go back to buying loose/bulk and not for convenience. 



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You are 100% correct Ian.

Who cares whether its the manufacturer or the retailer.........tax it.

I am def not a "greens" voter but am astounded why they have a policy to increase the 10cents on containers to say 25cents?? Then see how many cans and bottles go into landfill.

cheers Bilbo 



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sorry....that shud read "I am astounded why they DONT have a policy to increase......"

cheers Bilbo



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We always buy loose fruit and veges because any processed packaged food has GST added to the price. Don't want to pay any more tax than I need to. Cheers Stewart

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Guru

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bilbo wrote:

You are 100% correct Ian.

Who cares whether its the manufacturer or the retailer.........tax it.

I am def not a "greens" voter but am astounded why they have a policy to increase the 10cents on containers to say 25cents?? Then see how many cans and bottles go into landfill.

cheers Bilbo 


 Today walked along a short section of Sydney Harbour Foreshore, probably about 20 cans & bottles in the bush.

A neighbour collects bottles, their club donated $5000 to 3 charities last year.



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Guru

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Stewart, that's an interesting point. Does it only apply to food or does it apply to hardware as well, certainly not fluids.

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Guru

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No food (except hot, ready to eat convenience food) attracts GST, irrespective of the packaging.
Cheers,
Peter

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Hi Iana,

Well if the can do CASH for cans,pet, and bottles.

Why not paper and cardboard. Amcore and Visy make billions from recycling paper products. Put some cash back in our pockets. Bunning give it away as an example.

Grey



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How many people are aware that they can recycle their soft plastics at Coles and other drop-off points?


https://www.coles.com.au/about-coles/sustainability/environment

Here is an interesting recycling project:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-12/logan-city-aims-to-use-poo-power-human-waste-to-energy/12748782

 



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I think for all of the potentially recyclable materials, there's too much generated for all of it to get used to create new things/sell those new things. The better course would be not to create so much in the first place as suggested above.



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hufnpuf wrote:

I think for all of the potentially recyclable materials, there's too much generated for all of it to get used to create new things/sell those new things. The better course would be not to create so much in the first place as suggested above.


Yep. 

A two stage approach - Reduce and recycle.

Plus "facilitation" by government. SA has had a deposit scheme in place for drink bottles and cans since 1977. It has taken much of the rest of the country 40 years to catch up.

Cheers,

Peter



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Why cant major s/markets supply paper bags to put a few tomatoes/onions/potatoes/grapes/whatever in ..........instead of a single use plastic bag?

Why cant tomato sauce come in a (clear) glass bottle?? ......it was about 30 years ago and no one thought any diff. I realise their argument would be cost. (plastic V glass). but what is the cost of "recycling" a plastic sauce bottle which prob goes into landfill somewhere in the world  V recycling a glass bottle which would def be recycled??

Why cant everyone bring their own bags to the supermarket instead of packing your groceries in single use bags??

cheers Bilbo

PS I am not sure how shampoo would go in a glass bottle though!!



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Peter_n_Margaret wrote:
SA has had a deposit scheme in place for drink bottles and cans since 1977. It has taken much of the rest of the country 40 years to catch up.

 We've just started that as of the first of this month.  

Back when, the bottle-o would come to your house and take away your glass bottles.  They'd get refilled, same as the milk bottles.  A lot of "improvements" haven't turned out to be that great, in hindsight (like taking out all the household water tanks)

bilbo, if I'm just getting a couple of something, I just leave them loose, I don't bother with a bag.  Otherwise, you can buy reusable bags to take.  They are great for avoiding those plastic bags they supply.  



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I think one of the problems is that much of the recyclable material never actually gets recycled.

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Guru

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Another European feature is the existence of furnaces that can cleanly burn plastics and paper that are too contaminated or otherwise unsuitable for recycling.
They generate electricity.
CO2 is still produced, so not ideal, but much better than land fill (or sending it to China).
Cheers,
Peter



-- Edited by Peter_n_Margaret on Tuesday 13th of October 2020 09:33:06 AM

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I believe that it is a matter of life changes and education

I can remember (over 60 years ago), when I was a boy

It was not unusual to see older men, (perhaps they had been coal miners), spitting in the street

It was not unusual to see rubbish such as newspapers/wrappers etc blowing down the pavements, of the main street

It was not unusual to see council men pushing rubbish carts, and brushing the rubbish into the gutter, then shovelling the rubbish into their carts

We no longer see the above, in normal everyday life, as times have changed

I am sure that things will change for the better, as the way I see it, two things are changing fairly rapidly

Firstly the younger generation are becoming aware, that changes need to be made, to protect the environment

Secondly the boffins, now realise that microplastics are everywhere

If what I read is correct, (I have no way of knowing), microplastics get from the package to the food chain, and are also in the water we drink

If I remember correctly, the man who invented the plastic shopping bag, did so to protect the trees, as we once used brown paper bags, at the supermarket

If I remember correctly, his son was quoted as saying, that his (now deceased) father, would be horrified to learn, that supermarket plastic bags, are only being used once

I am sure that there will be a change in product packing, but it may be slow to come


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www.packagingcovenant.org.au/events-and-education/apco-annual-awards. This organisation is know as A P C O, Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation. Supposedly working towards a 2025 target. Maybe if we all contacted them and voiced our concerns.

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Cheers Craig



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Living in a block of units I unfortunately get to look at a fair bit of waste as I'm always shifting rubbish to the correct coloured bins. Nothing new, being doing this for a few decades.

I have noticed that there are a lot of those reusable supermarket bags in the rubbish & they look like they have only been used once or twice.

Once I actually saw a neighbour come home with shopping & 20 minutes later put 4 of these reusable bags in the bin.

My situation is a very limited sample but I think a lot of these reusable bags might have a shorter life than once only bags for the weight of plastic going to landfill.



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bgt


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The missing link is the user. Straws don't jump out of drinks and run away. Plastic bags don't retire to live in the rivers or oceans. Maccas paper bags don't jump out of car windows nor do Maccas plastic drink containers or straws. Plastic isn't the issue. Consumers are the problem. Putting a deposit on cans and bottles will only attract those worrying about money. Not the person who can't get off their arse to walk to a bin. Habits have to be changed. Litter doesn't litter. Humans litter. So education and some VERY heavy fines will do the trick. Fine the person dropping a fag butt or straw on the ground. Fine the company who dumps illegally. And fine the council who short cuts the recycling. Human habits are the problem.

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Guru

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I don't put too much faith in recycling, I believe most still goes to land fill.
I also don't go along with what you say bgt, I think the manufacturer, and the retailer are the most to blame. The packaging is only for the convenience of the retailer to reduce the over the counter effort. What happened to the "Bring your own coffee mug" ? do you see any of the cafes pushing this idea.
Some way of taxing the use of excessive packaging is what is required, hurting the pocket and finding a cheaper way to get the result will reduce the waste.

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There's no silver bullet here and a multi-faceted approach is needed. As consumers we need to remind retailers it's not okay to mount a single banana on a styrofoam tray then wrap it in cling wrap. Manufacturers will get the message when we don't buy overpackaged goods. We need to tell our kids and grandkids "ooshies might look cute but the planet doesn't need more little bits of plastic". Litter is nowhere near the issue it was once upon a time. It's very rare to see people walking the highway collecting bottles and cans because the highway verges are far cleaner. When I was a kid, such people were a common sight. Today they scour parks, gardens and filter rubbish bins looking for refundable recycleables. I think reintroducing deposits on containers is a great because the odds of actually recycling these items is much greater than when they go in a bin with a different coloured lid. Plastic is convenient and plastic *is* the root problem because it just doesn't go away. If we can get on top of recycle, reuse our metals and glass and reduce preferably remove consumer plastics, we've gone a long way. Reusing plastics is a short term answer to minimise your own household waste for *one* time only. It's not a solution. Again, consumers need to say *not thanks" to plastic straws, buy goods in glass bottles and buy jute shopping bags not multiuse plastic bags. It ain't hard but it might cost more.

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bgt


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A quick comment about plastic NOT going away. It does. Yeah it may take sometime for some types of plastic but it does eventually breakdown. Many studies have shown this fact.

Years ago we use plastic as ground cover for crops. For the first few years of use the plastic broke down in 12 months to small pieces. We changed types of plastic to one which wasn't affected as much by UV and it lasted so long we had to burn it after use. (Plastic or smoke?) So plastic does and can break down. Manufacturers can make plastic that falls to pieces with age. We recently cleared the home of a deceased person. They never thew out a plastic shipping bag. When we tried to pick up the white ones they fell in to thousands of pieces, Not the green ones but the white ones.
So manufacturers can change the types of plastic but only if the consumer demands it.



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dabbler wrote:

consumers need to say *not thanks" to plastic straws,

 I wish they'd ask whether you want a straw, plastic or paper.  I don't need a straw to drink out of a glass, it's ridiculous.  I don't care if you give me a paper one, don't be wasteful and give me something so unnecessary.

Plastic may degrade into little pieces, but they are little pieces of plastic....



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