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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The business committed to teaching Victorians how to live sustainably in their day-to-day lives.
Tucked away in the community of Rosebrook, Victoria, you’ll find Nature’s Way Eco Sanctuary, a unique, self-sustaining home made entirely out of straw bale! Taking the builders over 5 years and 746 bales to complete, the owners are now opening their home to show others the way towards sustainable living and minimising consumption whilst enjoying a comfortable lifestyle.
Power to the home is supplied by a solar Photovoltaic energy system, which consists of 52 PV panels that feed three 4 KW inverters that source power to the home. For heating, a heat pump is used for hot water while a hydronic floor heating system is in place. The house also features a 48-volt, 900-amp hour battery bank to power the house at night.
During the construction, builders utilised eco-friendly products and materials, including plant-based paints and finishes that were sourced locally.
The overall energy consumption of the home is also minimised by quality insulation as well each room having cross-ventilation, allowing for passive cooling in the summer and hydronic floor coils for heating in winter. They also harvest water from a large roof area with water, stored in two 22,000 litre tanks that supply the house via a pressure pump system, with hot water generated by a roof-mounted, evacuated tube, solar hot water system.
Other self-sufficient practices in action across the property include raised bed vegetable gardens, a fruit tree orchard irrigated by a worm farm, free-range chickens, rotational grazing of a small herd of boar goats for chemical-free meat production and honey bees for both pollination and supply of honey.
To book a tour of this amazing sanctuary, please contact Tina on 0487 238 624 or (03) 5568 1240. Tours run from October to the end of April each year on Sundays and Mondays, commencing at 10am and 2pm. Bookings are essential, with a cost of $15 per person for adults, $8 for children over 12, and $12 for seniors. All the owners ask in return is that all visitors take one of their ideas and apply it to their own way of living in order to reduce their domestic energy consumption.
For more information, visit click here
Offering sustainably sourced fibre and recycled rainwater
The brainchild of husband-and-wife team Nick and Isabel, the Great Ocean Woollen Mill offers an attractive range of ethical and sustainably produced yarns and garments, from cozy knitwear to beanies, scarves and accessories.
Based in Timboon, Victoria, Nick and Isabel established the business in 2015, committed to making productive use of the fibres from their herd of alpacas, each of whom grow fleece each year. With certification from both Ethical Clothing Australia and Australian Made and Grown, all products are made onsite and sourced within a 100km radius, reducing the overall carbon footprint. With a passion for sustainable and local products, Nick and Isabel source all wool from Geelong, with both the farm and mill operating on solar power electricity.
We suggest the Alpaca Merino Ribbed Beanie, made from pure alpaca fibre, making it the perfect accessory for those cold winter mornings!
To check out their range of eco-friendly, locally sourced and made products, please click here
Meet the Jan Juc based business that created the world’s first recycled carbon fibre surfboard!
Tired of watching 45,000 tonnes of carbon fibre being poured into landfill each year, business partners Fil, Jimmy and Andreas took on a mission; to create the world’s first recycled carbon fibre surfboard.
With their combined expertise in aerospace engineering and chemistry, the business partners put their heads together and began producing surfboards made from chemically altered carbon fibre, reducing the risk of cracks and delamination.
Best of all? Being 100% recyclable, all Juc Surfboards can be recycled if they break!
Determined to be part of the solution, Juc Surf stocks a range of carbon fibre surfboards as well as items of merchandise such as shirts and hats.
With the boards designed by world-leading aerospace engineers, Juc surfboards are stronger, faster, lighter and a lot more carbon-neutral than your average fibre glass surfboard!
To find out more about this exciting business, please click here.
You can also check out their Facebook and Instagram accounts.
The story of a Victorian company on a mission to eliminate single-use plastics
The brainchild of Mike Smith, the Victorian-owned and operated business started in 2019, aiming to tackle the global plastic program. Offering a range of care and cleaning products, Zero Co delivers orders directly to your door alongside empty dispensers, colour matching refill pouches as well as a pre-paid postage satchel. The customer then empties the contents of the satchels into their dispensers before sending the empty refill satchels back to Zero Co. Here, they are cleaned and refilled before being sent back to the customer, thereby eliminating the need for single-use plastics.
Be sure to check out the starter boxes, a product that allows you to receive a 2–3-month supply of various essential household items, including handwash, body wash, laundry liquid, multi-purpose spray, dishwashing liquid, dishwasher tablets, stain remover, shower cleaner, toilet cleaner or air freshener.
Zero Co also offer dispenses made from plastic waste found in the ocean, with refillable pouches created from recycled materials diverted from landfill. The business also recently commenced the Oceans 21 campaign, an initiative aiming to collect 21 tonnes of ocean waste and convert it into reusable bottles. For each starter box purchased, the company donates $5 towards their clean-up initiative, ensuring that all ocean wastage is removed and put to better use.
Better yet, become a member with Zero Co and refer your friends so you can both receive a $10 off coupon! All it takes is starting an account!
For more information, please click here.