SodaStream & Clean Up Australia Partnership

Clean Up Australia was founded in 1989, when Ian Kiernan had a simple idea to make a difference in his own backyard - Sydney Harbour. He organised a community event with the support of a committee of friends - Clean Up Sydney Harbour. This simple idea has now become the nation's largest community-based environmental event, with the first official Clean Up Australia Day on 21 January 1990.

There is one common thread in their community clean up events - plastic pollution is continuing to dominate, with a recent report by the Minderoo Foundation finding that Australia generates more singe-plastic waste per capita each year than any other country in the world – the equivalent of 60kg per person!

This is why SodaStream Australia have partnered with Clean Up Australia to educate people of the effects of single-use plastic pollution. An astonishing 39.9% of all reported rubbish in 2021 comprising of both soft and hard plastic – most of which is designed to only be used once then thrown away. This has been the case across all 31 years of Clean Up Australia’s reporting.

Single-use plastic is made from non-renewable, oil-based resources. The single-use plastics removed by Clean Up Australia’s volunteers are not biodegradable and could survive in the environment for hundreds of years. What is even more worrying is when it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces – as this means that it enters our food chain earlier.

Clean Up Australia has some great resources on our website that give you some great ideas on how you can minimize the amount of single-use plastic you use, including their online resource: 101 small steps to going plastic free.

Some of their favourite tips include frequenting your local farmer’s markets, opting for reusable bags when shopping or choosing “naked” fruit and veg at the supermarket. And of course, if you enjoy bubbly beverages at home, SodaStream is a great reusable alternative to single-use plastic bottles.

They key here is to refuse and reuse single-use plastic before you recycle, as our recycling systems aren’t as effective as many people believe.

For example, a recent report by Cleanaway found that misconceptions were observed at all stages of the recycling process: 47% of Australians believe that soft plastics can go into recycling; 26% don’t know that our food containers need to be rinsed before going into recycling; and 15% think that we can just put everything in the recycling bin and it will get sorted out at the recycling facility!

No matter how much we’d like to send them to a 'good' place, we have to stop clogging the recycling stream with non-recyclable items. Our aspirational recycling can contaminate an entire batch of recyclables, forcing everything to be sent to landfill. That’s right - it potentially only takes one non-recyclable item to contaminate an entire load of recyclables.

Sadly, according to the most recent National Waste Report prepared for The Department of Climate Change, Energy, only 12.4% of all waste is recycled nationally in Australia.

That means that of the 2.63 megatons of plastic waste was generated in 2020–21, only 12.4% of it was recycled, with the remainder being sent to landfills.

In addition, this isn't taking into account all the resources required to create, transport or recycle these materials - it takes far more petrol and water to create or recycle single-use plastic bottles than they can hold!


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