Permaculture in Action

Monday, March 12, 2012

Waste Not Want Not

Don't know about you but we try very hard not to buy anything in plastic. Can be hard sometimes, but as you know not everyone thinks like this. There is just so much plastic bought and thrown away. Here in Maitland we are part of a campaign to change regulations to reduce litter through " Cash for Containers." We collect bottles from public areas and take them to our local member to show how much litter there is with the thinking that this would be reduced if each bottle was refundable.

 We would like to see a refund on all bottles bought so that people are encouraged to return their empty bottles rather than throw them away, thereby reducing litter.In the meantime we recycle or maybe a better option is reuse. Remembering always to refuse as the first option.

Check out this site for some truly inspirational ideas for using empty bottles and also providing affordable housing. Most of the bottles used are collected litter.


  1. Thanks for this post. I have been thinking alot about excess packaging just lately. I was looking at the lovely udder farm glass milk bottle I bought the other day and wishing I could return it to get it refilled again. I notice since the supermarket challenge our plastic consumption has gone down...though not far enough.

  2. I would love to find some way to collect garbage inside and then put into the bin without using plastic - does anyone have any ideas? We use the supermarket bags, and I would much rather be using green bags to carry my groceries, but we need those bags for our garbage! We do take it out daily and the bags are not full.

    1. I used to also use plastic bags for rubbish, and then I thought about what we did with our rubbish when I was a child, when there were no plastic bags. We wrapped our rubbish in newspaper and then put it in the garbage. We have very little rubbish these days. We have a small rubbish bin in the laundry for household waste. And once a week I tip it into the roadside bin and then wash it out. Simple.

    2. Hi African Aussie, Please excuse me sticking my nose in, but this is a bit of a bug bear for me. You can use the bags you get your bread in, or sometimes we use a foil pack that our milk powder comes in. If you start looking at what you buy, you will find there are options. I haven't needed supermarket bags for fifteen years. Kate's idea is great, a container that you just wash out!

  3. I do have a hard time with plastic and have a hard time finding somethings that aren't in plastic! I hope as people become more aware, this will not be a problem.

  4. our town just voted to ban plastic bags. i'm thrilled, there are still obstacles, but there's no going back now. :)

  5. Hey Kate, what a great initiative, I hope you are successful.........

    We used to keep our soft drink bottles when we were kids and we would get 5 cents for each bottle. We would ride around to the shop with a bike basket full of bottles and cash them in and buy a bottle of lemonade to have for a special occasion.

    Claire :}