Twelve Apostles trail works close the loop

In another positive step towards closing the loop and achieving a circular economy, a range of recycled plastic signs, fence posts, chicanes and bollards have been installed along the Twelve Apostles Trail to keep walkers and cyclists on the track.

Corangamite Shire Council Director Works and Services Brooke Love said products used in the project are made of soft plastic materials collected and recycled through the REDcycle Program.

“The aim is to keep the project as sustainable as possible,” Mrs Love said.

“Previously we have used virgin timber and treated timber for infrastructure projects. This project is more environmentally friendly and contributes to a circular economy, where the focus is to reduce consumption of finite materials, reuse and recycle. The approach benefits businesses, society, and the environment.”

The Twelve Apostles Trail – ‘Closing the Loop’ project is a step in the transition to sustainable infrastructure initiatives.

Council received funding from Sustainability Victoria’s Sustainable Infrastructure Fund to buy and install the recycled plastic products on the trail.

The fund, delivered by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government, aims to:

  • improve confidence in using products made from recycled materials;
  • demonstrate performance of existing products and standards;
  • increase the quantity of recycled products being sold in Victoria; and
  • support organisations to try new technology and processes.

Corangamite Shire is one of 18 councils sharing in more than $2.6 million through the Sustainable Infrastructure Fund to use recycled materials in infrastructure projects.

Local recycling company receives cash boost

In great news for our local recycling industry, family-owned Geelong business GT Recycling has just been awarded a $3 million state and federal grant to be put towards their $4.7 million expansion. This will see the company able to process a massive extra 8,000 tonnes of plastic per year.

The grant is part of the federal Recycling Modernisation Fund and the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria program. While contributing to the mission of achieving a circular economy, it will have a number positive effects including more jobs for the region and a better outcome for the environment.

Victorian environment minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the grant would help GT to “install world-leading technology to recover a range of plastics from discarded agricultural plastic including plant pots, shade cloths, and tarps.”

Another positive step towards achieving a circular economy, the grant will mean that more plastic and other recycled materials will be brought back to life and see another day by being made into new recycled products.

A Tip Top effort!

This is the best thing since sliced bread!

Tip Top, one of Australia’s most popular supermarket bread brands has begun introducing a significant change to its packaging. Instead of opting for the classic plastic bread tag, Tip Top has made the decision to make the switch to recycled cardboard tags.

Graeme Cutler, Director of Sales and CSR Lead at Tip Top ANZ said “we’re doing it because it’s simply the right thing to do,” highlighting that the major brand is being proactive in their approach to reducing waste, rather than waiting for consumers to ask for it.

Making the switch to these recycled bread tags will eventually rid the nation of over 400 million individual pieces of plastic each year! The nation-wide rollout is planned to take place over the next two years, however you can already find some of these special loaves in local supermarkets.

These new recycled tags are equally as durable as the old ones and are no extra cost for retailers or customers! Tip Top recommends that you tuck them inside something else in your recycling bin as their small size means they can easily get lost or fall out.

Tokyo Olympics going for gold

The medals awarded at the Tokyo Olympic Games were made from 78,985 tonnes of recycled electronic devices including mobile phones. How cool is that! 

The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics required over 5,000 gold, bronze and silver medals to be produced for athletes. The sustainable medals have been crafted as part of a wider sustainability effort as part of the games and we think that’s just great!

Over a period of two years, the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project collected 78,985 tonnes of electronic devices from across Japan including 6.21 million cell phones. The gold, silver and bronze elements of the devices were obtained through smelting, which involves heating and melting to extract a base metal.

Tokyo took on a very sustainable approach to hosting the Olympics and several efforts were made to keep the games as eco-friendly as possible. In addition to the medals being made from recycled materials, beds in the Olympic Village were made from recycled cardboard and the podiums were made from recycled plastic. And if that wasn’t already an incredible effort, the uniforms worn by the torchbearers were also partially made from recycled plastic bottles!

“We hope that our project to recycle small consumer electronics and our efforts to contribute to an environmentally friendly and sustainable society will become a legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Games,” Tokyo 2020 said.

Sustainable Shopping – Meet the businesses near you making shopping sustainable!

After a difficult year for small business owners, there’s no better way to help them recover than by offering your support.

But best of all, many of these small businesses in our community are committed to producing and selling products made from recycled and sustainable products.

Consider this, most disposed single use plastics in the world still exist somewhere. That’s part of the problem. They don’t break down; they just cause harm to our environment and native species.

Luckily, we can all make changes to our behaviour and reduce the amount of single use plastic being produced; by purchasing products made from sustainable material. So where do we start?

By seeking out local suppliers and choosing plastic-free items, multi-use cleaning products and compostable essentials instead of single-use, unsustainable products. They’re easy swaps we can all commit to in order to reduce our contribution to landfill.  

Lucky for us, there’s plenty of local businesses in our region stocking sustainable products. Best of all, they often come in beautiful patterns and recycled packaging!

Check out some of our favourites below.

Green Grocers

Wholefood goodness at Valerie’s Pantry (top left) and Jo’s Pantry (left).

With an abundance of thoughtfully chosen wholefoods and low waste goods available in our region, why not complete your weekly shop at one of them?

Geelong based whole foods business Valerie’s Pantry promotes zero waste in a beautiful way. How? By encouraging customers to bring along empty jars and containers, collecting all that they need in a plastic-free, economical way. With a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, you’re sure to come back time and time again for all your shopping needs, including bread, condiments, spices and other food products. Offering quality wholefoods and sustainable products, the business is doing its part in encouraging shoppers to be more conscious of the implications of their everyday shopping habits. With a store in Belmont, the business also operates a click and collect service as well as home delivery, making it all the more convenient.

To check out their great range of products, visit their website, or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Similarly, Colac based Grocer Jo’s Pantry is helping build a sustainable future, with all products locally grown and produced. Whether you’re after to a lovely cup of coffee, some fresh sourdough bread or locally grown fruit and veggies, Jo’s Pantry has you covered.

You can also follow the business on Instagram and Facebook.


Homewares and Household Goods

Some of the great products available at Live Eco.

With a commitment to showing consumers how easy it is to choose a more eco-conscious lifestyle, the friendly team at Geelong based Live Eco are making their mark. Offering a wide range of home, personal care, stationery and children’s products, Live Eco is your one-stop-shop for all of life’s essentials. Best of all, they’re all made from ethical or sustainable material.

With a fully operational online store, visit their website to get inspired or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.


Stunning homewares store Frankie Say Relax.

With gorgeous gifts, homewares and personal care items on offer, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for at Frankie Say Relax. With stores in Geelong, Torquay and Queenscliff, Frankie Say Relax’s stores are bursting with beautiful Australian labels and artisan wares. But best of all, all products within the store are sourced from recyclable or ethical materials, making your buys good for the planet too.

If you’re feeling inspired, head to their website to browse a great range of products, or follow the business on Facebook and Instagram.


Sustainable Clothing and Recreational Products

Definitely worth a visit, the Reimaginarium.

We’re all guilty of an impulsive purchase, trying to keep fashionable and on trend. But it’s time to start thinking about the items of clothing we’re buying and more importantly, the impact they’re having on our environment.

Fortunately, our region is home to some wonderful local businesses, harnessing the power of recycled and ethical fabric to create beautiful pieces of jewellery and clothing.

In a world plagued by excess consumption and waste, Geelong-based business The Reimaginarium wanted to rewrite the narrative, by giving new life to pre-loved items without a high price tag.

Whether it’s beautiful furniture or handcrafted jewellery, witness old becoming new again.

To find out more, visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

For those with more adventurous spirits, Hamilton and Port Fairy based adventure shop Daktari Surf Bike and Ski offer the latest and greatest surfing and adventure gear. Since 1975, the business has provided communities with expert knowledge, quality product and friendly service. Best of all, all products sold within the business are sourced from ethical material.

Check out their website to find out more!

To find more great stores selling sustainable products near you, visit our interactive map.

Sustainable Swaps – Making the choice to Buy Recycled

We hear it all too often. Recycling is hard, recycling is time consuming. Finding and purchasing recycled materials is really difficult. We’re here to tell you that narrative couldn’t be further from the truth. And it needs to change. 

In actual fact, swapping out your regular, single use household items for more sustainable and ethical alternatives couldn’t be easier. But best of all, it reduces your contribution to landfill, helping our community stay healthy and clean and help save you money in the long run! 

To get you inspired, we’ve listed eight simple swaps you can make to make your home and lifestyle more sustainable, with help from some of our wonderful local businesses. 

 

REUSABLE SHOPPING AND PRODUCE BAGS

Forget paying 15 cents for a plastic alternative. Colourful, quirky and durable shopping bags are all the rage. Better yet, they can be used for a range of things, whether it’s a quick trip to the shops, storage or even transport, the possibilities are endless! But it doesn’t stop there. Be sure to pick up some reusable fruit and vegetable pouches, so you never have to stand in line waiting for a nasty plastic bag ever again!

Most reusable shopping bags and pouches are 100% washable, so you can keep your fruit and veggies fresh and fabulous. We recommend keeping them in the boot of your car or your everyday handbag, meaning you’ll never get caught out at the shops ever again, win-win.

Check out some of our favourite styles below: 

Available at Ampersand Geelong

Available at Live Eco

Available at Frankie Say Relax- Geelong, Torquay and Queenscliff

 

REFILLING YOUR HOUSEHOLD CLEANING STAPLES

Why fill your bin with single use, throw away cleaning products when you could refill them? Whether its your washing powder, dishwashing liquid or hand soap, there are plenty of businesses out there who’ll refill your every day staples, without causing you a trip to the shops (hallelujah!).

Not only do refills reduce the amount of single use plastic being dumped in landfill, they’re also better for our environment and for your hip pocket! Simply purchase the item you need in a pouch and have it delivered to your front door, as easy as that.

There’s plenty of local stockists, including Organic Larder Geelong, with refill stations available in store to make it even easier!

 

WASHABLE DISH CLOTHS

Have you ever considered cleaning green? It’s a tale as old as time, buying single use dish clothes and scourers, only to have them rip and fall apart after a few uses.

Not anymore! There are now a great range of both reusable and sustainable cloths, scourers and cleaning brushes on the market to keep your dishes spic and span, without having to replace them constantly. Whether its purchasing paper towel made from recycled paper or sustainable cleaning items, rest assured these items not only save the environment, they’ll also save you money and time.

Local stockists include Natural Supply Co, Valerie’s Pantry and many more!

 

REUSABLE DRINK BOTTLES

With billions of kilograms of plastic waste discarded each year, opting to purchase a reusable bottle not only saves you money, it also keeps harmful plastics away from our oceans and landfill. Benefits all round.

Local stockists include Ampersand, as well as Surf Coast Whole Foods

 

SUSTAINABLE BAKING

With baking experiencing a rise in popularity during COVID times, gone are the days of lining your trays with baking paper.

Introducing silicone baking mats, the sustainable and easy alternative for your baking needs. Simply place your silicone mat at the base of your tray as you would baking paper, wash once your baking is done and reuse! No more last-minute trips to the shops, no unnecessary waste and of course, reduced costs!

They are available at major retailers including Spotlight, Target and Big W.

 

GOODBYE WET WIPES, HELLO REUSABLE FACIAL PADS!

There’s nothing more frustrating than running out of wet wipes at the end of a hard day’s work. Luckily, those days are over, with sustainable, multi-use makeup removal pads now available at most retailers. Simply pop them in the washing machine or wash by hand when you’ve finished using them and they’ll last a lifetime.

These reusable pads are available at major retailers including Priceline, Chemist Warehouse and MECCA.

 

DITCH PLASTIC GLAD WRAP FOR BEESWAX OR COMPOSTABLE CLING WRAP!

As one of the largest contributors in landfill, plastic cling wrap is doing a lot more harm than it is good. Luckily, there are a lot of sustainable and reusable items now available at major retailers. Try compostable cling wraps, like Great Wrap, for wrapping your sandwiches, or beeswax wraps to cover over your containers. Best of all, compostable cling wrap decomposes in 10-45 days, causing much less harm to the environment, while beeswax wraps can be washed after each use.

Local stockists include Natural Supply Co, Torquay Books, Bellarine Beewraps and many more.

 

CHOOSING RECYCLED TOILET PAPER

A household staple, there’s now a lot of sustainable, budget friendly alternatives in the toilet paper market. One of the easier swaps you can make, a common trait of sustainably produced toilet paper is that it’s produced using recycled paper or bamboo, meaning little to no wastage occurs in the production process. The paper produced is often very soft to touch and best of all, it breaks down much faster than regular toilet paper!

Local stockists of recycled toilet paper include Geelong Sustainability, who can ship all product directly to your door. Talk about convenient.

 

It’s true what they say, the smallest changes make the biggest difference.

To discover more businesses producing materials made from recycled products near you, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save Our Soles! Stepping up and making a big difference!

It’s true what they say, the smallest changes can make the biggest difference.

It turns out that the piles of old shoes collecting dust in your cupboard can help make a great surface floor in a retail outlet, a sturdy, durable yoga mat or even a running track. With an estimated 25 million pairs of shoes placed in landfill each year in Australia, it’s a very real waste problem. Particularly when you consider that the unwanted shoes we throw into our bins can spend over 1000 years decomposing in landfill. This presented a problem. A problem that needed an immediate and innovative solution.

Enter the Australian Sporting Goods Association (ASGA). Representing brands, manufacturers, distributors and retailers, ASGA is the sporting industry’s leading voice. Working alongside some of the country’s biggest sporting retailers, including Rebel Sport, JD Sports, SportsPower, Adidas, New Balance, Converse, Globe, Nike and ASICS, the company launched the Save Our Soles program; an industry funded, collaborative program hoping to reduce the sporting industry’s contribution to landfill. In a bid to establish supply chain stability, Save Our Soles was established to divert worn out sporting shoes from landfill, instead converting these shoes into useful, recycled material.

The ASGA, alongside major sporting retailers, has outlined several major sustainability focused outcomes for the program, including:

• Reducing the environmental impact of footwear sent to landfill each year.
• Develop a scalable model for sports shoe recycling programs Australia-wide.
• Promote participation in positive, end-of-life programs across the supply chain.
• Reclaim at least 100 tonnes of pre-used sporting material for repurposing.

Initially trailed in Victoria during 2019, the program now operates in 100 stores across the state, with plans to soon extend the program all throughout Australia.

According to statistics released by the City of Greater Geelong, Rebel Sport Geelong is leading the charts as the location to collect the most pairs of shoes, with over 3000 dropped off at the store since the program commenced. Rebel Sport Geelong, Rebel Sport Waurn Ponds, SportsPower North Geelong, Colac and Warrnambool, and Globe Shoes Torquay all participate within the program, with over 100 collection points across Victoria.

You can find your nearest collector here.

If you’re a resident of the City of Greater Geelong, you can also subscribe to the Rethink Your Rubbish e-newsletter, where you can find out where recycled products are making an impact.

Please click here to subscribe. 

Let’s Talk about the circular economy

Many of you may have heard the term ‘Circular Economy.’ But have you ever stopped and wondered what they’re referring to?

Recently, the Victorian Government launched the Recycling Victoria; A New Economy initiative, a circular economy policy and action plan that will fundamentally overhaul Victoria’s current recycling system.  This policy will transform how our economy uses materials and as well as how our state reuses, repairs and recycles.

A circular economy is an economic system that strives to minimise the amount of waste we produce as well as the environmental impact of day-to-day products and consumption, instead favouring the use of recyclable and sustainable materials.

The Buy Recycled campaign is committed to showing the wonderful residents of the Barwon South West how they too can contribute to the circular economy, creating a healthier and brighter future for us all.

Recently, several local municipalities within the great Barwon South West have also committed to the establishment of a circular economy, including friends of our campaign: 

But it’s not just up to our governments, it’s also up to us, to help make more sustainable choices and give our waste a second chance at life.

So, start thinking, how can I contribute to creating a circular economy and help make our region a healthier place?

You can start by asking yourself,  why buy single-use items when you can buy items made from recycled material, thereby reducing the amount of waste going into landfill?

A great way to do this is by checking out our interactive map, showcasing the wonderful local businesses within our region that stock and sell products made from sustainable and ethical materials. 

Happy hunting! 

 

Going Green: How one of Victoria’s largest municipalities is making use of recycled material

How one of Victoria’s largest municipalities is using recycled materials to reduce waste

The City of Greater Geelong has increased its use of recycled materials through a number of creative projects and trials, seeking to find new ways of using waste as a resource.

The organisations 2019-20 Annual Report highlighted that 8,745 tonnes of recycled asphalt materials were utilised in the building and renewal of roads, footpaths and furniture, with nearly 6,548 tonnes of concrete recycled within the same period.

A particular highlight was the saving of 3,500 kilograms worth of plastic from landfill through a trial of PlastiPhalt® , a new form of micro-plastic free asphalt made from recycled plastics. PlastiPhalt® was used on various major traffic corridors throughout the Greater Geelong region, including Roslyn Road in Highton, Moorabool Street in the CBD as well as Purnell Road in Corio.

Green concrete, a form of concrete that comprises various waste materials, was also used in construction projects in both Drysdale and Corio, with a recycled rubber athletics track also constructed in North Geelong alongside seawall concrete blocks at both Western Beach Park and Eastern Beach reserve.

COGG is continuously assessing opportunities to utilise recycled materials in major construction projects, such as implementing recycled plastic bollards and benches. In May 2020, a tender was awarded to five business to provide asphalt using innovative recycling methods. The successful applicants are currently researching innovative asphalt solutions, such as foam bitumen containing recycled road and asphalt, and GripPhalt, a product which uses up to 90% recycled and renewable material. One company is also trialling glass in base layers of pavement throughout Greater Geelong.

The City of Greater Geelong has also recently adopted the Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2020-2030, ultimately guiding the Greater Geelong region on how it can contribute to a circular economy.