Australians are the second biggest producers of waste per person in the world. Half of plastic produced globally is utilized for products that are designed for single use. When you think about this, this is an immense amount of waste going into our landfill and destroying our environment. We as individuals have the power to change this just by making a few simple lifestyle adjustments. The View Finders team look at everyday action you can implement to change your impact on the environment. We have made a short film to illustrate how simple these changes can be. Remember, the consequences of your actions outlast your lifetime.
Scene 1 (keepcup):
In this scene we juxtaposed the benefits associated with using ‘keepcups’ to the ramifications resulting from using ordinary, everyday, cups. Although these single-use containers appear to be made of just harmless paper, this isn’t the case. They contain a plastic lining that means they can’t be recycled, and once they’re in landfill, they never break down.
Buying one coffee cup each day creates an estimated 10 kg of waste over the course of a year. And this is just for one person, so overall the total amount of waste Australia produces through coffee cups is enormous, with 500 billion disposable cups produced yearly, 90% of which end up in the landfill. Reusable cups provide a sustainable alternative, and have already diverted 3.5 billion cups from landfill. The inconvenience of bringing a keepcup out with you is tiny when compared to sheer amounts of waste that would be prevented as a result. All it takes is a change in lifestyle, and although it seems small, it all adds up, impacting our environment for the better.
Scene 2 (plastic bags):
Australians use 3.92 billion plastic bags a year – that’s over 10 million new bags every day. On a larger scale, this means that every person is using 730 plastic bags every year. But there’s a really simple action that every one of us can incorporate into our lifestyles, and that is using recyclable bags when we go shopping. It is such an easy thing to do, yet we haven’t committed to change. A recyclable bag costs approximately $1, and can be used for years. It’s important that we start using them, and that we encourage our friends and family to do the same.
NSW is yet to ban non-biodegradable plastic bags, along with Victoria and WA. Sign the Clean Up Australia Day petition to pledge your support to #banthebag
Scene 3 (pizza box):
Pizza boxes are always a source of controversy when it comes to recycling. They’re covered in food, so they should go in the bin. They’re made of paper, so they should be recycled. People are under the misconception that pizza boxes in their entirety can or can’t be recycled, when in fact only the clean, grease-free parts of the cardboard box can be recycled (usually the lid). The oil on the rest contaminates the recycling process, so it can’t be recycled with clean paper. The simple answer is to tear the box in half; the oily part on the bottom goes into the bin, and the clean part on the top goes into paper recycling.
Scene 5 (plastic water bottles)
Plastic drink bottles pose a great threat to our environment and marine life, with vast amounts of waste going into landfill and ending up in the oceans. This result in the endangering and harming of marine life, while subsequently polluting our oceans and forming collection of discarded plastic that combine to form ‘plastic islands’, as exhibited in the image below. Additionally, the production of these single use plastic bottles generates greenhouse gases that pollute our atmosphere and heighten the effects of the already detrimental climate change. A simple solution to preventing these ramifications is by utilizing reusable drink bottles, meaning for a small cost you can make a significant impact.
To conclude, the View Finders team would like to stress the importance of utilizing reusable products in our everyday lives. Our video sought to show how simple it is for you to have a significant impact on your community. Remember, the consequences of your actions outlast your lifetime.