All Victorian households will be able to recycle soft plastics at home as part of the State Government’s new $515m recycling reforms and four-wheelie bin system and fucking finally!!! No more creepy bag overflowing with soft plastics lurking under my kitchen sink or in my laundry, no more lugging a pillow-sized sack to the supermarket to be recycled every month. I can finally have my dignity.
Well, I will have my dignity by 2030 when the scheme is fully rolled out.
Vic households will be given four beautiful wheelie bins for their trash — reminiscent of successful house waste management schemes in Scandinavia and other parts of Europe.
The red lid bins will be for landfill, green for food scraps and garden waste, yellow for all plastics, metal and cardboard and purple for glass. Soiled food containers including pizza boxes, which are infamously unrecyclable due to the greasy patches and cheese stuck to the bottom, will also be able to be recycled in the yellow bin by 2030.
Seven local government areas in Vic already have the new four-wheelie-bin system and a couple more will be rolled out next year.
Victoria’s environment minister Lily D’Ambrosio made the announcement on Thursday with Federal environment minister Tanya Plibersek. It’s an election year for Victoria so they’ve really wheeled out the big guns.
“We’re the first state in Australia to roll out the same bins to every household, and the first to include soft plastics and pizza boxes in those bins,” D’Ambrosio said.
Attn: other states get on board now pls.
The recycling reform was announced in 2020 after state’s largest recycling company SKM went belly-up and resulted in thousands of tonnes of recycling being sent to landfill.
A government report following the closure found broken glass was one of the biggest contaminants in our recycling, as well as soft plastics which can get stuck in processing machines and cause whole loads to get send to landfill.
The report also found food waste made up to 35 per cent of rubbish sent to the tip. I’m sorry, 35 per cent!!?!??!! That’s thousands and thousands of tonnes of food that could probably be eaten tbh or turned into nutrient-rich compost for a poppin’ garden.
There are also plenty of evidence that shows ambiguity around co-mingled recycling, or differing rules per LGA, leave people confused and they end up putting plenty of stuff into the yellow bin that shouldn’t be there.
“There’s different recycling facilities, some might have a newer, more modern technology that can do a bit more, so they’ll accept a contaminated pizza box, but others won’t. It is great to see there will be some uniformity across the state when it comes to this and other materials,” Zero Waste Victoria president Kirsty Bishop-Fox told Guardian Australia.
But of course, ultimately recycling isn’t the answer to reducing waste and our imprint on the planet. The answer is to reduce.
Stop buying things wrapped in packaging. Does the product actually require the packaging to be picked up and transported back to your house? I.e. flour kinda does (although you can buy in bulk), apples fkn don’t. If it doesn’t, put it down. Anything in a bag or box will almost always be more expensive anyway and lord knows we all need to save a buck rn.