After the rollercoaster ride that was 2020, we all need some good news to keep us going. Luckily there are plenty of reasons to remain optimistic for the future. From governments investing funds into fixing the e-waste problem, businesses making big strides away from fossil fuel, and of course the constant innovation that drives humanity forward. Here are a few reasons WE are excited for the year ahead.
Biden pledges to fight the climate crisis HARD
Within hours of his inauguration, Joe Biden, the 46th President of the United States, rejoined the Paris Agreement. The whole planet collectively breathed a sigh of relief. The US is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, so re-pledging to fight the climate crisis is a big step on the right path. We’re still far off our target to limit global warming, but Biden’s first days in office, are proving he’s not just making empty promises.
Fortescue commits to Net Zero emissions with a promise of Green Steel
Everybody has to do their part. But when big businesses join the pledge to lower their footprint, the impact can be life changing. While an average individual Australian’s carbon footprint is 15 tonnes, Fortescue admits theirs is just over 2 million tonnes. Andrew Forrest, the former CEO of FMG, says the mining giant has pledged to make green hydrogen, a renewable energy source, a reality in Australia. By investing in pollution free renewable energy, FMG is paving the way for other big businesses to step away from fossil fuels. It’s not just altruism that drives Andrew Forrest forward in his pledge, it is clear that the tides are turning, and investing in green energy is the most cost effective strategy for our future. You can read more about Andrew Forrest’s promise here.
A ban on Waste Export – short term challenge with a long term positive impact
Unprocessed Waste can no longer be exported overseas unchecked, thanks to the newly passed Recycling and waste Reduction Act 2020.
Australia can no longer ship it abroad and forget the issue exists. This will lead to some short term challenges, as Australia doesn’t have all of the required processing facilities to deal with the amount of waste we generate. However, it’s forcing innovation and investment to deal with our war on waste. From companies like Great Wrap who are developing ways to convert food waste into compostable cling wrap, to companies creating artificial intelligence systems for plastic recycling. Our ability to innovate is endless.
Government Grants help fuel innovation
Total Green Recycling has been one of nine recipients of the Governments Grant initiatives. These initiatives aim to divert 1000 tonnes of e-waste from landfill annually. Total Green Recycling is using this grant to build a Mobile Re-use and Data Destruction Centre. They’ll be converting a sea container into a mobile centre. TGR will be able to bring data destruction and re-use options for WA’s unwanted IT, to collection events happening around the city and state. Many people are nervous to send their electronic waste to recycling centres. They worry about their data being stolen, and so many electronics still end up in landfill. This project removes that barrier. Everyone can have peace of mind over how their data is destroyed. And it will also catch working items before they become waste. Re-use is after all, our preferred step to reduce waste.
Second life for battery power
Total Green Recycling has always had a passion for connecting with undergraduates. Providing them a space for research and development. They’re the next wave of eco-warriors after all. Our latest endeavour is working with Engineering students from the Engineering Institute of Technology, who are building a solar powered battery testing process.
The Battery Stewardship Scheme commences soon
Last year Total Green Recycling joined the Battery Stewardship Council (BSC).
This year, the work the Council has been doing will likely take effect in the community. Product stewardship schemes take the end of life into consideration, making sure the product can be disposed of responsibly, and recycled correctly. Organisations will require BSC accreditation, to show they’re recycling batteries safely. With the rise in portable electronics, batteries have become yet another issue to be addressed in the global war on waste. If not recycled correctly, they can cause dangerous elements to be released into the environment, and cause fires. This scheme will provide clear and accessible alternatives to landfill. Not only can the valuable materials within batteries be recovered, battery product stewardship will also reduce the amount of fires in the waste and recycling industry.
There are plenty of reasons to demand governments, companies and individuals DO better. Yet it’s important to also appreciate the change that is being implemented. Our actions are being noticed, our demands are being heard. Let’s keep up the good work, and keep striving towards a better future.