If you're anything like us, it's easy to feel slightly disheartened by the lack of progress being made around consumption and the current rate at which rubbish is being sent to landfill. I've personally been trying to limit the amount of rubbish I consume, but I'm the first to admit it often isn't easy. Thankfully, a growing list of organisations and movements are springing up to make sustainability a no brainer.
1. Kai Cycle
Food waste should be a simple one to solve. But many people don't have the time, space or inclination to manage their own compost systems. If you're like me and live in an inner city apartment a service like Kai Cycle is an ideal solution. For $30/month Kai Cycle will collect your compost weekly. The thing I love the most about their pick up and drop off service is that I get a clean bucket each week and they exclusively use bicycles to get around the city for collections.
2. Again Again
A new cup lending system for zero-waste takeaway coffee which started in Wellington and is soon to pilot in Auckland essentially cuts out waste before it even needs to be recycled - genius! While I personally love my keep cups the reality is that there will always be times when people forget these. The brilliance of Again Again is that they've not only designed out waste but they're also providing a superior experience for both coffee drinkers and suppliers - win/win.
3. Teracycle Oral Care Recycling
Oral care continues to be one of those niggly areas where plastic exists. If you haven't converted to bamboo toothbrushes yet or you simply prefer the plastic alternative there's now at least one great way to recycle these appropriately. With over 71 collection points across New Zealand there really isn't a good excuse for these to end up in landfill. For our Wellington friends the Sustainability Trust has just announced they are now a collection point for this scheme.
4. Glad Food Storage Recycling
Having relied on the soft plastic recycling scheme (sadly in hiatus for the time being) for the last couple of years I was excited to learn that another alternative for glad products exists. As much as I love my beeswax wraps, for scenarios where gladwrap is warranted, I'm glad (pun intended) to know another solution exists. This Teracycle initiative accepts donations via post.
5. Swedish Stockings
For those of us that wear stockings on occasion but cringe every time an inevitable ladder appears, there is now an alternative for keeping these out of landfill. Innovative hosiery company Swedish Stockings has announced a circularity project and now accepts ANY brand of nylon stocking to recycle. With no collection points on this side of the globe, we recommend getting together with friends to split shipping.
These local initiatives are all fantastic but we're going to need big brands to step up and start designing out their waste if we're going to see change at the pace and scale that is so desperately needed. A pilot scheme was unveiled last week in Davos at the World Economic Forum with a coalition of brands trialling a recycled packaging scheme. The trial which will be piloted in Paris and New York and includes major brands such as Proctor & Gamble, Coca Cola and Unilever has the potential to propel the war on waste. With an uncertain outcome and a decision that will likely be led by profit margins we must continue to look for ways to reduce our own waste and minimise the negative impact this has on the world around us.
Samantha is the CEO and Founder of Little Yellow Bird and is an advocate for sustainable and ethical fashion.