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A council in Western Australia wants to draw attention to how much waste we actually throw away by giving 20 households transparent wheelie bins for 8 weeks.
Mindarie Regional Council hope that the exercise will start a conversation about how residents can reduce the amount of waste they throw away, and how they can recycle more.
The Australian Government has set a recycling target of 65% which they want to achieve by 2020. The current rate is 50%.
Critics say that having a transparent bin would give people the chance to be nosey about your lifestyle. For example, what might your neighbours say if there were several wine bottles in your bin? Others also raised concerns that people might simply hide waste inside of plastic bags so it can’t be seen.
Environmental organisations have commented on how the government needs to do more to educate people on how to reduce the amount of waste they throw away, and what they can and can’t recycle. The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) is working to create a system which will make it easier for consumers to know if an item can be recycled or not.
At the moment, there are nearly 200 recycling symbols on different types of packaging, which is confusing for consumers. Not only that, some products might contain several different types of packaging, consisting of recyclable and non-recyclable materials. The APCO aims to come up with a clear and consistent labelling system that helps people to know immediately whether something is recyclable or not.
The Chinese waste ban has also created a recycling problem for the country and many recycling depots have been left with piles of glass and plastic they are unable to process.
The contamination of recycling was a big part of the reason that China decided to ban waste imports, so getting recycling right at the source is very important.