As the Northern Illawarra region gets set to spend up to $100 on average per household on extra food and drink this Christmas, The National Packaging Covenant Industry Association (NPCIA) is warning residents not to let their good recycling habits slip over the festive period.
Australians spent around $913 million on extra food at Christmas last year and with consumer confidence now at a three year high, it is expected that Northern Illawarra residents will be buying, eating and drinking more than ever this year.
Australian residents have set an example to countries around the world when it came to recycling in 2013. In the last 12 months 64% of all packaging waste was recycled, including more than 2.9 million tonnes of bottles, cans, plastics and paper.
Stan Moore, CEO of NPCIA, the peak industry body for packaging, is encouraging Northern Illawarra residents to spare a thought for what they are throwing in the bin after the festivities end.
Mr Moore said: “Christmas is a great time for celebrating with friends and family but all the indulging we do can leave quite a lot of food, drinks and paper around the house which if they aren’t careful will end up in landfill.
“Many people aren’t aware that the level of emissions generated by household food waste in landfill is similar to total emissions involved in the manufacture and supply of iron and steel in Australia.
“There are lots of little things Northern Illawarra residents could do that will not only reduce their impact on the environment but also save a few pennies!”
Here are the NCPIA’s five top tips for Northern Illawarra residents for a “do the right thing” Christmas this year:
- Recycle Right – It may sound simple but make sure you put the right things in your home recycling bin. For example, plastic bags are the number one source of contamination in recycling and should be kept out of recycling bins.
- Reuse Wrapping Paper – Look for recycled paper options or consider using old maps, newspapers or comics when wrapping up gifts. Maybe use a bow rather than paper for oversized gifts like bicycles. If the paper is damaged and can’t be reused, make sure you put it in your household recycling bin. Over 90% of Australian households have access to kerbside recycling collections.
- Don’t waste food scraps – Leftover turkey is great for Boxing Day sandwiches and Christmas pudding tastes just as good re-heated. And if you really aren’t able to get through all your leftovers then make sure you put the scraps in a compost bin or worm farm. Your scraps will be back feeding your garden and reducing water use before you know it.
- Dispose of your Christmas Trees Properly – Living trees can be taken to a waste transfer station which separates organics for composting. Turning Christmas trees into mulch will reduce landfill, returns nutrients to the soil and protects living plants and trees in the Northern Illawarra region. You can also cut your tree to fit loosely into your green recycling bin.
Show your support for kerbside collections – Give back this Christmas by fighting to keep kerbside collections. Federal and State environment ministers are considering a proposal to introduce a national Container Deposit Levy (CDL) in Australia that could put pressure on councils to reduce or stop kerbside collections altogether. Have your say by completing a petition to be sent to your local state environment minister, Robyn Parker.