National Recycling Week
The 22nd annual National Recycling Week has officially begun in Australia. Helmed by Planet Ark, it was founded in November 1996 with an aim to bring a national focus to the environmental benefits of recycling through promoting kerbside, industrial and community recycling initiatives.
This year they’re taking this one step further with their theme, What Goes Around: Why Buying Recycled Matters. They argue that while recycling is necessary, it’s only useful if we’re actively procuring recycled products.
Why Buying Recycled Matters
‘Buying Recycled’ means being more mindful of what we’re purchasing, and considering the lifecycle of the products we own - where they've been and where they will go.
The circular economy is incredibly important to us at Method. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation describes this concept as a process that’s “...restorative and regenerative by design, and aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times.” We define it as ensuring everything has an end-of-life plan so that it can be recycled into something new.
Our beautiful, visible recycling bins are made from a plastic called Polypropylene, which is fully recyclable. We also always reuse the materials from our excess or faulty bins for new Method bins. Currently, we are unable to source a recycled plastic to use for manufacturing our product, but we’re endeavouring to source one so we can become a member of the circular economy ourselves.
“Having a sustainable procurement policy is a way to reduce the environmental, social and economic impacts of purchased products, as well as demonstrate business leadership,” says Planet Ark. Their research found that 70% of Australians are more likely to buy products if they know they have recycled content, and a huge 88% of Australians already purchase products containing recycled materials. But there’s still work to do.
For example, Ryan Collins, Recycling Programs Manager at Planet Ark, says:
“Something that’s not really thought of is renovation waste. Over Summer when people are cleaning up their homes, there are recyclers that can recycle up to 80% of a house. One of our partners Bingo Industries can recycle up to 25% of a house, turning bricks into more bricks, concrete into aggregate, timber into landscapes, and more.”
How Do I Buy Recycled For My Office?
There are hundreds of ways of Buying Recycled, many of which can be found in Planet Ark's Recycled Product Directory.
Here's five of our favourite Australian-made, Australian-designed recycled products for your office:
Planet Ark 100% paper | Planet Ark has partnered with Australian Paper's new de-inking facility at the Maryvale Mill in Victoria to increase production of recycled paper, to the capacity of diverting 80,000 tonnes of waste paper from landfill or overseas export each world. Buy this ethically sourced paper from this selection of stockists.
Fab Rugs | Fab Habitat's handwoven polypropylene rugs are made out of recycled plastic; they're durable, stylish and can be hosed down to clean.
Naturale Toilet Paper | Wondering how Naturale toilet paper is made? Used office paper is mixed with water to create pulp, which is then cleaned and rolled to form sheet paper in a completely chlorine free process.
Ege Carpets | Is your office redecorating? The Ecotrust felt backings of these carpet tiles are produced from recycled water bottles. An innovative production technique turns bottles into a soft yet strong PET felt material that is long lasting and has great acoustic performance.
The Social Outfit | Every cushion comes complete with an eco-inner, made in Australia using 100% recycled water bottles. These inners are light, plump and keep their shape well. Each season the Social Outfit collaborate with Australian fashion designers, emerging artists and members of the community to bring you a range of vibrant designer prints. The design below is in association with Andrea Shaw.
Planet Ark's Buy It Back Day will be held on Saturday 18 November 2017 to celebrate National Recycling Week with mindful purchasing.
Interested in our beautiful recycling bins? Let us be part of your sustainability journey.