Waste not, want not

Plastics in Landfill

This week I started back at University. One day as I was sitting down munching on my lunch purchased from a certain sandwich chain, my eyes fell upon the plastic bag and paper wrapping the sandwich had come in. These two items, although small and fairly insignificant, were only going to be used by my sandwich once and then tossed into the rubbish bin to end up at the tip to decompose over the next few hundred years. And let’s not mention the serviette that came with it. I didn’t even use it – it was thrown straight in the bin!

How selfish of me and my sandwich!

I mean, really! Thinking of the energy and resources used to create these three things that I was only going to use once (or not at all), I felt like a really wasteful person and as I am studying Environmental Science, I really should know better. So over the next week, starting Monday, I am going to collect every bit of rubbish I generate to see where I can cut down.

Since it is Friday, here are some Friday Fun Facts about waste generated by us Aussies:

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2006-07 Australians generated nearly 44,000 tonnes of waste. That’s 2,080 tonnes per person on average. Of that 44,000 tonnes, 22,707 tonnes were recycled.

Waste in tonnes per person per year by State

Western Australians came in with the highest amount of waste generated at 2,490 tonnes per person per year, followed by the people of the ACT at 2,310 tonnes. Then New South Wales, still over the average at 2,230 tonnes per person, and finally South Australia at 2,090 tonnes.

Those who were under the national average were Victoria at 1,980 tonnes per person, then Queensland at 1,930 tonnes. Tasmania stood at 1,056 tonnes and finally the Northern Territory had the least waste generated at 841 tonnes per person, per year.

Tune in next week to see if what I generated was on average!

About Hayley

Hayley is a community blogger on the ripple effect and an Environmental Science student at Deakin University.