KEEP AUSTRALIA BEAUTIFUL WEEK 15-21 AUG
Keep Australia Beautiful’s iconic annual event, Keep Australia Beautiful Week is back again, and this year will be held from 15th August to 21st August.
Keep Australia Beautiful Week is an important event that raises awareness about environmental sustainability and inspires Australians to take action on sustainability and litter. It involves educating Australians on the simple ways we can all limit our environmental impact on a daily basis.
This year, our theme is “Contain Your Waste”.
We’re challenging Australians to contain the amount of waste they produce in one week to the capacity of a chosen container. Those participating in the challenge are encouraged to only fill their container with items that can’t be composted or recycled.
Keep Australia Beautiful hopes this challenge will help Australians see that making a few small, conscious changes minimises landfill waste for the week significantly.
Throughout the challenge, participants are encouraged to think ahead and plan their food shopping for the week to limit the use of single-use plastics as much as possible.
Being conscious of our waste and recycling habits is becoming increasingly important now, more than ever.
According to the latest report from the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO)*, of the 1.1 million tonnes of Australian plastic packaging reportedly placed on the market, only 16% (179,000 tonnes) was recovered via recycling in 2021.
APCO also indicates that Australia is likely to miss our 2025 target to recycle or compost 70% of plastic packaging. It’s currently estimated that only 36% of plastic packaging will end up in recycling or compost by 2025.
Furthermore, APCO notes that Australians are only recycling 4% of soft plastics used for food packaging. The rest is ending up in landfill or finding its way into our oceans.
Other items made from recyclable packaging are also making their way into landfill rather than being recycled properly, due to incorrect disposal by consumers and businesses.
Many Australians are unaware of how to properly dispose of different types of waste, resulting in excessive waste ending up in landfill which poses huge harm to the environment.
There are many factors contributing to this, including poor education, excessive consumerism and the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns. The past few years have seen a significant increase in medical equipment usage, home-shopping, food deliveries and personal hygiene.
An estimated 8 million tonnes of extra plastic waste accumulated globally over the past two years, according to a research article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
It’s clear that more education, information and resources need to be provided to Australians to assist them with their waste and recycling habits, which can then be passed onto others to encourage collective action.
Keep Australia Beautiful Week 2022 aims to teach Australians about different types of waste and which items can be recycled, composted and placed in the general waste bin via regular social media posts, content on the website and registration page.
Keep Australia Beautiful CEO, Val Southam, hopes that by making small changes during KAB Week, these will then form new habits which will inspire others to do the same.
“We encourage all Australians to become engaged in caring for our environment and its biodiversity”, added Ms Southam.
Click here for those who want to join the Contain Your Waste Challenge where they can register and learn more about the challenge.
Participants are also encouraged to record their waste efforts over the week and upload their video or photos to the Keep Australia Beautiful website or share on social media using the hashtags:
KAB Week Contact:
Education Program Manager
Keep Australia Beautiful (KAB) is a national organisation and consists of independent KAB networks in each State and Territory. It is recognized as Australia’s independent litter prevention thought and practice leader, aiming to achieve a litter free and sustainable Australia.
KAB was established by Dame Phyllis Frost in 1968. It has over 50 years of experience in engaging Australians to care for their local environments, with long-running programs, such as Tidy Towns, Sustainable Cities and the National Litter Index, as well as Eco-Schools, Adopt a