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Queensland Conservation’s Plastic Bag Free Queensland campaign invites members of the public to take part in Bag Free February. During the month of February, shoppers are asked to swear off single-use plastic bags and see how easy it is to live plastic bag free. They are encouraged to take their own reusable bags shopping, and to ask retailers to provide alternatives such as compostable plastic bags, reuseable bags, or to reuse boxes if possible.
Clean Up Australia Day is a simple way you can take action to clean up, fix up and conserve the prized Australian environment. In 2012 an estimated 591,400 volunteers cleaned up 16,169 tonnes at 7,363 sites right across Australia. But we can do better! So be a good sport and join the team to Clean Up Australia on Sunday, 3 March 2013.
In Australia we spend more than $500 million a year on bottled water, which is not only putting greater strain on the environment, it’s an expense we could easily avoid. Two innovative programs aim to promote the benefits of drinking tap water as part of a healthy lifestyle and as a positive alternative to bottled water:
Jeremy Irons stands on a beach beside the ancient Lebanese city of Sidon. Above him towers a mountain of rubbish — a pullulating eyesore of medical waste, household trash, toxic fluids and dead animals — the result of thirty years of consumption by just one small city out of how many in the world? As the day’s new consignments are tipped on top, debris tumbles off the side and into the blue of the Mediterranean. Surrounded by a vast reach of plastic bottles, a forlorn Jeremy Irons stares at the horizon. “Appalling,” he mutters. In the new environmental documentary Trashed, Irons sets out to discover the extent and effects of the global waste problem.
The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, on behalf of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Standing Council on Environment and Water, has released the National Waste Policy Implementation Report 2011. The report outlines progress against the National Waste Policy and the National Waste Policy Implementation Plan milestones to the end of 2011.
A new, far-reaching report on the state of municipal solid waste around the world predicts a sharp rise in the amount of garbage generated by urban residents between now and 2025. The report estimates the amount of municipal solid waste (MSW) will rise from the current 1.3 billion tonnes/year to 2.2 billion tonnes/year, with much of the increase coming in rapidly growing cities in developing countries. The annual cost of solid waste management is projected to rise from the current $205 billion to $375 billion, with cost increasing most severely in low income countries.
Clean Up Australia Day has now become the nation’s largest community-based environmental event. Now in its 21st year, the event attracts hundreds of thousands of volunteers from the community, schools and businesses to help clean up, fix up and conserve their environment. Key dates for 2012 are:
The Gwangiu Cities Declaration sets the way forward towards the greening of cities through improved planning and intelligent management. Released at the conclusion of the Summit of the Urban Environmental Accords held in Korea on 11-13 October, the Declaration calls for the development of an Urban Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the UN Convention for Climate Change. It also recommends the development of metrics to measure and report urban sustainability and to encourage the development of policies, regulations and innovative market mechanisms to accelerate the transition towards greener urban development. The Declaration calls for action across five major sectors:
Statistically speaking, people over fifteen years old are the worst offenders when it comes to littering. For reasons unknown, once people turn fifteen they begin to litter more heavily and continue to do so for the rest of their lives. That’s why Keep Australia Beautiful has put The LITTLE Committee in charge of fixing the problem. They’re all kids under fifteen, hand picked to join The LITTLE Committee, determined to put an end to adults littering in Australia. Their job is to become the new face of litter in Australia though advertising campaigns, in the media and by meeting with important people. Members of The LITTLE Committee are available to speak at events and functions, and are available for media comment on issues relating to litter.
At the Australasian Waste and Recycling Expo industry experts will discuss new legislation, technologies and innovations in resource recovery. You can attend one of the low-cost half-day conferences, free workshops or free networking functions, and view the latest products and services.
© Bruce Boyes 2008-2013
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