Life & relationships

Reduce, reuse, recycle: easy ways to help reduce landfill-bound waste

3 min read

Life & relationships

Reduce, reuse, recycle: easy ways to help reduce landfill-bound waste

3 min read

The Australian Government has set targets as part as the National Waste Policy Action Plan which include:

  • reducing total waste generated in Australia by 10% per person by 2030
  • halving the amount of organic waste sent to landfill by 2030.

Here are some practical tips that may help you reduce the amount of waste that you create. 

Limit your use of single-use plastic

We’re still a long way from a plastic-free world, but there are some simple steps you can take to cut the amount of non-biodegradable plastics you consume

  • Remember to take your own reusable bags when you go shopping – not just for groceries. If you have a car, leave some shopping bags in the boot, ready for action.
  • Buy at bulk food stores when practicable. Take your containers to buy pantry staples like flour, rice, pasta, or personal hygiene and cleaning products.
  • Consider glass containers over plastic ones. Switching to glass containers not only reduces plastic usage in your home, but they are also typically easier to clean compared to their greasy plastic equivalent.
  • Next time you order takeaway, let the restaurant know you don’t need plastic cutlery or straws (if they're not already banned in your state or territory).
  • Avoid buying plastic-packaged fruits and vegetables.
  • Bring your own coffee cup next time you need a takeaway coffee fix.

Buy second-hand

Buying pre-loved items or repurposing can be a fun and effective way to champion reusing items.

  • Look for garage sales and swap markets happening in your area. Or get your friends together and organise your own swap market.
  • Many groups and pages are dedicated to buying, selling or donating items online. Use them to either snatch a bargain or give your belongings a new home.
  • Op shops and vintage stores are full of treasures. Dig in for clothes, accessories or home items.
  • Have you heard of repair cafes? They are places you can go to get your items fixed or mended by volunteers, free of charge. There may one in your local area.  

Reduce food waste

The National Food Waste Strategy Feasibility Study (2021) reported that each year Australians waste around 7.6 million tonnes of food across the food supply chain. It also reported that food waste accounts for about 3% of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.1

Here are some tips that may reduce landfill-bound food waste:

  • Planning your meals and making a shopping list before hitting the shops could help you buy the right amount of food you need and avoid waste.
  • Pay attention to food storage. Follow package storage instructions, keep leftovers in sealed containers, and check your fridge and freezer temperatures.
  • Have a garden? Maybe you could try composting. Composting transforms food waste into nutrient-rich fertiliser for gardening. That may mean less food in landfills.

Recycle and buy recycled products

Recycling is another small yet powerful action to tackle waste. Recycling collections are typically council-dependent. Keep an eye out for the specific rules in your council or shire, but some general rules you can follow are:

  • Find out what can be recycled and put it in the correct bin. The bin colours can vary from council to council. Reach out to your local council to make sure you know the rules in your area.
  • Put your recycling in the bin loose, not in plastic bags. It’s easier for your council to collect and process recycling.
  • Rinse and scrape any food or liquid from containers. This can keep your bin from smelling, and you won’t need a bag to hold your recycling.
  • Items like batteries can be recycled but shouldn’t go into your regular recycling bins. Look for your nearest drop-off point – you may find a list on your council’s website.
  • If you can, try to preference recycled and recyclable products and packaging.

If each of us reduces the waste we create, we can collectively make a big difference. 

At Suncorp Bank, we partner with OzHarvest, Australia’s leading food rescue organisation. Together, we’re committed to helping halve food waste in Australia by 2030.2


1 Source:
2 Source:

Published 26 March 2024

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