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Imagine if we started to think of our plastic domestic waste as a valuable resource

Across Australia (including the Eurobodalla) we can find recycled plastic bage return bins at Woolies and Coles. This plastic goes to an Australian company to recycle into products. Here is how it works:

With plastic use on the rise, we need to create a sustainable community that reduces, re-uses and recycles plastics. Replas is one Australian company that sees waste as a valuable resource, and are part of making this world more sustainable. Replas uses plastic waste collected in Australia to make a range of outdoor products. If there is no demand for these products, the plastic waste may end up in landfill instead. When government, schools, and industry purchase these products they are all helping to make the process work by closing the loop on recycling. This is called the Circular Economy, it ensures that the recycled plastic is being bought back into viable, useful products that will better the environment. Eurobodalla can play an active role in the Circular Economy by re-thinking its selection and procurement to recycled plastic products, and become a true recycler. Presently Eurobodalla Council buys very little recycled product.

Everyone touches plastic and we, as a community, must be more accountable and responsible if we are to drive our demand for recycled plastic products. In 2013 Eurobodalla Council gave Replas the tick of approval when the Replas display trailer visited Moruya with the Council staff (below) keen to view the range saying that they were very interested in the recycling process and agreed that the products ticked all the boxes from a sustainability point of view.

Since that visit there has been no further action though National Parks have installed benches and picnic sets in our local National Parks. To our south the Bega Valley Shire Council have recently installed 13 wheel stops from Replas at the Tathra Surf Lifesaving Club to prevent damage to walls, garden beds, pathways and other vehicles. Only weighing 13 kgs each, the wheel stops can be installed by one person without the use of expensive lifting equipment or the risk of personal injury. “They were very easy for the crew to install,” said John Turville of BVSC, “as they are so much lighter than the concrete version.”

Eurobodalla Council can do so much more by considering their use of recycled products. There are moves to incorporate crush glass into road bases and recycled plastic into bitumen as discussed by the Prime Minister in the video below.

Eurobodalla council and its community can play a role however it comes with a need for Council to recognise its role and to adjust its procurement policies to not just Buy Local but to also be cognative of the Circular Economy by re-thinking its selection and procurement of recycled plastic products, and become a true recycler.

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