Media and News

Six tips to make sure your recycling gets recycled

China’s waste ban has triggered a crack down on recycling contamination rules, which mean recycling loads with too much contamination go straight to landfill. Here are a few tips to make sure your recyclables get recycled:

  • Remember the three golden rules – clean, dry, and empty! Empty food scraps and rinse containers. Anything that could go rancid shouldn’t be in your recycling bin.
  • Don’t bag your recyclables! They can’t be sorted if they are bagged, and plastic bags (along with soft plastics) can’t be recycled.
  • No shredded paper – the pieces are too small. However glossy magazines, entire books and papers with staples are all fine to go in.
  • No aerosols – the fire and explosion risk is too high, more and more recyclers are refusing to accept them. Check with your council when their hazardous waste drop off day is and keep aerosols, batteries and gas bottles till then.
  • Anything smaller than your fist can’t be recycled. Small items like that fall through the sorting machinery and end up in landfill.
  • Flatten your boxes – it helps prevent machinery blockages at the sorting plant.

Check out  this article for more info.

Image: ABC News


Better Bin Lining

Most major supermarkets across Queensland have now banned single-use plastic bags and in the aftermath many Australian households are taking the opportunity to start lining our bins with something a little greener.

With the best of intentions, many of us use biodegradable plastic bags as liners. Unfortunately, Australian laws about what can be called ‘biodegradable’ are shockingly lax. Many products labelled ‘biodegradable’ or ‘environmentally friendly’ just have chemicals added that ensure the bags break down into micro-plastics, but they still don’t biodegrade completely and still wreak havoc on the environment.

The solution is finding bags that are bio-based (composed of polymers made from starches like corn or potatoes) which are truly biodegradable, such as Biobag. You may struggle to find Biobags at your local supermarket, but they are available online here.  It is also worth checking with your local council if they supply biobags (or something similar) for free, as some Queensland councils do.

More info here.


DSGN Kartell is collaborating with the Griffith University Eco Centre, Australian Green Development Forum and the Green Building Institute to put on a bi-monthly event series in the Greater Brisbane area.

Designskillz provides a free platform to hear and learn about various skills existing in our neighbourhoods, which people seem to have forgotten about. Its goal is to start a conversation around holistic sustainability and introduce people to sustainable architecture and design as a new lifestyle. It also hopes to encourage people with creative skills to show what they’ve got and help them to express themselves.

Designskillz’ “target group” is the authentic and curious human being. It doesn’t matter if you are old or young; black, purple or blue; if you are working in the design or art industry or not – EVERYBODY is welcome. We strive to have a great mix of people from all walks of life to come together for an inspiring time in a creative and casual environment.

Take a look at the Facebook page for more info, and take a look at the details for the next event, ‘Living Small’

Recycled Roads

A new project in the north of Melbourne has managed to successfully recycle plastic bags, printer cartridges and glass bottles into a viable road surface. Not only is the road surface on-par with competitive road surfacing prices, but tests to date indicate that it is more flexible, durable and longer lasting than traditional road surfaces. The initiative could be the next step toward solving the Chinese recycling crisis. If it is successful it could ease the building pressure on councils to maintain recycling programs in the face of skyrocketing costs. The project would require a significant capital investment to take off, but could have a huge impact on Australia’s recycling industry.

Image: ABC

Who Gives a Crap?

Who Gives a Crap makes environmentally friendly toilet paper (from 100% recycled materials!) and donates 50% of their profits to building toilets for those in need! Here are their latest tips to building easy, enviro-friendly daily habits.

  1. Say no to plastic Bags. The average use of a plastic bag is 12 minutes!
  2. BYO drink bottle. Water bottles take over a thousand hears to biodegrade
  3. Ask for no straw. Is it really so strenuous to pick up your glass?
  4. Cut down on disposables. Take away food comes with a lot of plastic; try eating in or bringing your own container.
  5. Stock up on TP with Who Gives a Crap

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