Media release - How to be nice, not naughty, to the planet this Christmas

24 December 2018

Local Government NSW’s Save Our Recycling campaign is urging residents across the state to minimise their waste over the festive period, amidst the deepening recycling crisis enveloping NSW.

In a bid to help residents go green over the Christmas break, the Save Our Recycling campaign has released its top tips for reducing household waste during the silly season.

The National Waste Report released in November this year by the Department of the Environment and Energy paints a stark picture of the recycling crisis in NSW.

NSW is the worst offender of all states and territories for the amount of core waste – the category that includes waste from households, business, and the construction and demolition industries –going to landfill.

In 2016/2017, NSW sent 7,101,000 tonnes of core waste to landfill, a 14% increase from 2006-2007.

LGNSW President Linda Scott said that, until recently, our recycling system relied heavily on the export of recycling to countries that have invested in the facilities to reprocess it, such as China and Malaysia.

“These countries are now winding back the amount of recycling they will accept which means we urgently need to come up with new solutions for waste management here in NSW," Cr Scott said.

“While the Christmas and New Year period is a time for celebration and relaxation with friends and family, it is important for everyone to reduce their ecological footprint and minimise household waste when possible.

“Christmas can be a particularly plastic-heavy time, with an abundance of gift wrapping, ribbons, plastic trees, toys and decorations.

“Food waste is also a big issue over the Christmas and New Year period, and while we want everyone to indulge in all the culinary pleasures the festive season has to offer, we need to reduce the amount of food going in our bins and to landfill.”

Cr Scott also urged residents to join up to the Save Our Recycling campaign at www.saveourrecycling.com.au

 

Media Enquiries
Media Toni Allan: 0412 774 441

 

 

LGNSW’S TOP TIPS FOR BEING JOLLY GOOD TO THE EARTH THIS CHRISTMAS

 

1. DON’T BE FOOLED. SHINY WRAPPING IS NOT SO PRETTY WHEN IT ENDS UP IN LANDFILL

One of the biggest mistakes people make around the Christmas period isn’t to do with the gifts themselves, but what we choose to wrap them in. Most of the glossy gift wrap we use at Christmas time can’t be recycled, so while it may look pretty sitting under the tree, it’s pretty awful for the environment.

Don’t fret, there are other ways you can wrap your presents and still surprise your loved ones. Old newspapers and paper grocery bags are your best bet but if you wanted to get a bit more creative you could buy a tote bag (which is a Christmas present in itself!).

2. DON’T FAKE IT. BUY A LIVE TREE

While plastic trees can be used year from year, they are made from petroleum products (PVC) which means when they are sent to landfills, they can last forever.

Live trees are a much better option as they are grown on tree farms and replanted regularly.  They contribute to air quality when they are growing and a whopping ninety percent are recycled into mulch.

Also, live trees smell like Christmas… enough said.

3. DON’T GO CHRISTMAS SHOPPING WHILE YOU ARE HUNGRY

Christmas grocery shopping while you are hungry is never a good idea as you’ll inevitably end up overfilling your trolley with things you don’t need.

To minimise food waste, plan a menu and shop with a list of food items – this will help minimise the amount of rogue food items that creep into your trolley. Good for the environment and good for your waist line – win-win situation!

If you do end up with leftovers, send your guests home with plates and plates of food, cram your freezer to bursting point, eat ham sandwiches for the whole of January or gift unopened food to a local homeless shelter.

4. CONVENIENCE ISN’T ALWAYS KING

Plastic plates, cutlery and cups are convenient when you are hosting a big group of guests, but they aren’t so convenient when they end up in landfill and can’t be recycled.

Instead of using plastic plates this Christmas, you can use either “real” tableware (doesn’t have to be fancy!) or paper-based uncoated tableware which is biodegradable.

5. BIN RESPONSIBLY

Remembering what goes in which bin can be a bit challenging after you’ve had a few Christmas bevvies, but important nonetheless.

Brush up on what can and cannot be recycled – a common mistake is putting recyclables in a plastic bag and then into a recycling bin.

NSW also has a container deposit scheme, Return and Earn, which allows people to take eligible drink containers to an approved NSW Collection point for a 10-cent refund.