November 13-19 is Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week.
In the 20 years to 2015, Australia’s population increased by 28 per cent and waste levels grew by 170pc.
Although recycling is growing at a faster rate than waste, consumers and businesses need to close the ‘recycling loop’ by buying products that contain recycled content.
The current Australian economy follows a linear flow: “take, make, use and dispose.”
A circular economy (which replaces “dispose” with “recycle, reuse and repurpose”) is more sustainable, keeping material from being wasted.
Planet Ark’s recycling program manager, Ryan Collins said: “The financial benefits of this closed loop cycle are significant. It’s estimated that by 2025 the circular economy in Australia could be worth $26 billion.”
New research from Planet Ark’s guide What Goes Around: Why Buying Recycled Matters shows 88pc of Australians purchase products that contain recycled materials and 70pc are more likely to purchase products or packaging if they contain recycled materials.
“People may be surprised by some of the recycled products out there, like wallets and purses made from tyre inner tubes; surfboard fins made from ocean plastic [and] eye glasses made from milk bottle lids,” Mr Collins said.