In 2018, we saw some of the biggest changes towards a sustainable future yet! Our communities, leaders and businesses are starting to see and realise their impact on the planet and are wanting to make changes to turn this around! Here are some of our favourite eco-friendly changes, projects and initiatives that have happened around the world in 2018.
In Queensland, we saw the single use plastic bag ban come into play and while this will supposedly prevent 1 billion plastic bags from entering landfill and the environment every year (just in Queensland), we still have a long way to go. Unfortunately huge retailers like Coles and Woolworths are somehow allowed to bypass this law by giving out thicker and more harmful plastic bags - they state that they are re-usable however we have never actually seen anyone re-use them and instead are constantly picking them out of our waterways and bushland during our regular clean ups. The plastic bag ban has definitely been a step in the right direction but if we want to care for our precious oceans and wildlife properly, the Queensland Government needs to crack down on all businesses!
On the 26th of December, the worlds first single use plastic flight by Hi Fly Airlines took off from Portugal to Brazil and the company plans on being the first plastic free airline within 12 months! This is a huge leap forward in the travel industry and now we’re waiting for other airlines to follow suit! Hi Fly president Paulo Mirpuri states in his interview with Lonely Planet that “The test flights will prevent around 350 KG of single-use, virtually indestructible plastics from poisoning our environment”. “Over 100,000 flights take off each day around the world and, last year, commercial aircraft carried nearly four billion passengers. This number is expected to double again in less than 20 years. So, the potential to make a difference here is clearly enormous”.
Back in Queensland, The Containers for Change project was also put in place! Since this initiative has been introduced, we’ve seen a dramatic decrease in containers during our clean ups in Brisbane. It’s become a popular way for children to earn pocket money while also teaching them the importance of recycling and caring for the environment. You can take part in the Containers for Change project in four simple steps: Collect eligible containers (almost all bottles, cartons and cans are accepted), sign up for an account, return your containers to one of the participating recycling centres and then collect (or donate) your funds!
Both New South Wales and Victorian councils are trialling a kerbside composting scheme in a bid to keep most household waste out of landfill, to generate compost and to help reduce green house emissions. The council wants to be able to collect food scraps via kerbside collection and turn it into high-quality and nutrient rich compost which can be used on gardens and farms. Considering that Australian’s toss out a whopping 5.3 million tonnes of food waste every year, this kind of scheme is exactly what we need. Hopefully this initiative will be introduced Australia wide!
Lego have also announced that they have produced their first range of sustainable Lego products which are made from a plant-based material which is sourced from sugarcane. Considering that Lego has been such a plastic hungry giant for so long, we’re thrilled to see that they are veering towards a more sustainable business model and it is their first step in their ambitious commitment of making all Lego bricks using sustainable materials.
We're excited to see so many sustainable changes occurring all over the world and we’ve seen plenty of innovative individuals who are creating ways to change our pollution and excess amounts of waste into something positive. On a local level, we have witnessed many small businesses doing their part to make a change including: not offering plastic straws and either switching them for paper or encouraging customers to bring their own reusable straws, cafe’s and restaurants giving away bags full of coffee grinds and tea leaves so their customers can take them home and use them as compost and not offering plastic takeaway containers.
We’d love to hear the projects and initiatives that you’ve come across either locally, internationally or online. Comment your favourite ones below!
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