Updated: Nov 26, 2020
Looking for ways to reduce waste? Reducing waste at home has become a necessity. According to The World Counts website, with current consumerism habits we need nearly 1.8 planet Earths in order to absorb all the waste we generate - yearly we dispose of 2.12 billion tons of waste that if put on trucks would go around the world 24 times.
Here are some more of the shocking stats - with increasing consumerism and skyrocketing global buying power, 99 percent of the stuff we buy is dumped within just 6 months of use. Sadly, a high proportion of our waste is plastic that will pollute our planet and threaten the health and wellbeing of its inhabitants for centuries to come. If you're looking for ways to reduce waste at home, the good news is that more and more businesses are now coming up with innovative and out-of-the box ideas aiming to reduce waste and combat climate change - from shops that are utilising durable, reusable packaging for all your favourite products to human bodies composting as an alternative to burying or cremation.
Smart bin technology
How many times have you witnessed a public garbage bin overflowing with plastic or paper packaging with some being blown away and eventually becoming street litter? We’ve seen it oh so many times! Recognising the size of the problem some cities have started to replace old-school bins with smart bin technology that notifies waste collection companies when the bins are getting full. Smart bins are also able to self-lock ensuring that the garbage won’t spill over the sides. Compared to standard public garbage bins, smart bins have much higher capacity - all thanks to a technology that compacts the rubbish internally. Finally, smart bins often have fire prevention features that makes them much safer choice. Cities installing smart bins report reductions in waste collection of up to 80% and tidier streets.
Already composting your food scraps? How about composting your grandma? Jokes aside, human composting may become a new trend slowly replacing conventional burial and cremation. All thanks to a Seattle-based start-up Recompose, that will soon start to offer human composting services to its first clients. For $5,500 a body of a deceased person will be placed into a cradle surrounded by wood chips, straw, and alfalfa. The cradle will be then placed into a Recompose vessel and covered with more material. Start-up founder Katrina Spade promises that after only 30 days in a vessel, microbes will break everything down on a molecular level and transform the body into a nutrient-dense soil.
Although for some the idea might sound shocking, human composting might significantly contribute to the reversal of climate change. The environmental impacts of either burial or cremation are profound. In the U.S. alone, cemeteries take up 1 million acres of land, while caskets use 4 million acres of forest each year. According to Recompose, human composting saves a metric ton of carbon dioxide per body which is an equivalent to the CO2 emissions of 500 kg of coal, driving 3993 km, or over 40 cylinders of propane.
New way of shopping - reusable packaging
TerraCycle, a global leader in recycling has created a first-of-its-kind venture as a way to tackle pollution caused by single-use waste - e-commerce shopping system called Loop™. Thanks to Loop™ consumers will be able to receive their favourite products from trusted brands in durable packaging that can be reused for at least 10 times. Every Loop product will have an end-of-life solution in partnership with TerraCycle, so everything will be upcycled and nothing will go to waste. How amazing!
Loop™ has big ambitions and will cover any type of goods including beauty, grocery, household essentials, health & personal care. So how would this work? According to TerraCycle, you would first need to temporarily place a 100% refundable deposit to borrow your reusable packaging. After purchasing the products, they will be delivered to you in a special reusable and easy-to-use Loop Tote. When you are done with a Loop product, you would just need to put it back into the tote and schedule a free pick up from your home. Loop will then take care of the rest - TerraCycle has designed special cleaning protocols for every unique product category to make sure that everything is cleaned at the highest standards while using as little resource as possible. In Australia, Loop system will be soon available in partnership with Woolworths. We can’t wait for this amazing initiative to roll out nationwide!
The largest ocean cleanup in history
The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organisation on a mission to rid the world’s oceans of plastic thanks to a special advanced technology. The system developed by The Ocean Plastic is simple. They first aim to capture plastics of different sizes - from tiny particles just millimeters in size to large debris including massive discarded fishing nets. After being captured, plastic waste is going to be accumulated and finally extracted. The Ocean Cleanup already found a use to the plastic waste extracted from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by turning it into stylish sunglasses. And apparently there are more products to come in the future. The organisation promises that after deploying fleets of systems into every ocean gyre, combined with source reduction, up to 90 percent of ocean plastic can be extracted by 2050. Not bad considering that the systems organisation relies on are fully run on the natural forces and do not use any external energy source to catch and concentrate the oceans’ plastic.
Here at TOMbag we're committed to reducing waste. In fact we make our reusable garbage bags from waste itself! Every reusable bin liner is made from certified recycled PET bottles. Our reusable garbage bags enable people like yourself to quit single-use garbage bags further reducing plastic waste from increasing global warming. And at the end of our reusable garbage bags life we recycle our own waste and turn it into new products as part of the circular economy. Pretty neat huh? Learn more here.