Every bit of plastic ever created still exists, and we humans move more materials around the planet than natural processes. In total, 40 per cent of Australia’s waste ends up in landfills. Recycling has been one solution, but it’s less effective than we like to imagine. Since China stopped taking Australia’s waste in 2018, we’ve been struggling to recycle, with much of our recycling going to landfill or overseas to Indonesia.
It’s striking to consider that a plastic water bottle needs three litres of water to be created and a quarter of a bottle of crude oil. Most water bottles are not recycled after use, so billions enter landfill sites and oceans every year. Every item we buy - from musical equipment, to posters,
albums, cables and leads has a similar story. The more we consume, the more of our natural capital is exploited and the more waste is produced. Instead of dealing with the mess, let’s avoid it in the first place by buying second-hand, repairing what you can and, if all else fails, purchasing from ethical companies that use minimal packaging.
Learn more in this article discussing Australia’s landfill issues in more depth and explore how recycling actually works.