When the United Nations Environment Program describes it as “alarming” and the G20 group of nations recognises “the urgent need for action to prevent and reduce marine litter in order to preserve human health and marine and coastal ecosystems, and mitigate marine litter’s economic costs and impacts”, then some pretty tough action is going to be on the agenda. Read more
The issue has now hit the political headlines. It was framed by 4 Corners as a matter of criminal behaviour, which it isn’t. Queensland has committed to reducing it through increased inspection of interstate trucks. But it is legal. Inspecting truck certificates addresses a symptom only.
To be clear, trucking waste between the states is not illegal. It is part of the free trade between states that is protected under s.92 of the Australian Constitution. Read more
Given the depleted condition of Australia’s agricultural soils, burning compostable resources that can provide much needed carbon and nutrients is a terrible waste.
Around 70% of the resources in our waste streams is organic material which can be turned into high-quality compost and returned to our soils. Australia has more than 450 million hectares of land under cultivation and according to the NSW DPI, on average these soils have less than 1% organic material in them (NSW DPI van Zweiten). Read more
A global review in Nature in May 2017 revealed that Australia lags behind most developed nations for low emission standards for light and heavy vehicles. This means that we have worse air pollution per car and truck on Australian roads than comparable economies around the world. Read more
But it prompts the questions – what should be done, and why do we continue to allow nutritious food to go to landfill? Why do we send policy and landfill price signals that fail to reflect the true cost of food in landfill? It should be far more expensive to send food to landfill than building rubble, for example.
Inert building rubble does not emit methane and contribute to climate change, nor does it produce leachate that seeps into groundwater and river systems, and there are few beneficial alternative destinations for rubble as there is for food. Read more
Discussion in the media about who is at fault for increased energy prices abounds. Like other commentators, I put the blame on the policy makers from all political parties at both state and federal level.
It’s this policy dysfunction that’s causing the over-shoot in pricing we are experiencing. Read more
However, while the amount of data collected by the monitoring stations is significant, it pales in comparison to what is coming. Evolving networks of air sensors current being deployed across the globe will cause a data avalanche that could overwhelm those trying to make sense of it. Read more
Independent market research conducted by IPSOS for MobileMuster highlights that more people than ever before are reusing their mobiles. The research revealed that one in 10 are selling or trading in their old mobiles and one in six are giving them to family or friends.
One of the most popular ways to reuse old mobiles that still work is to sell them or pass them on to friends and family, and both outcomes mean that the life of the device is extended. Read more
Wherever you go in the world, roadsides are rarely pristine. Various detritus including bits of cardboard, dust, glass, grit, metal, paper, plastic, leaves, wood and other organics often accumulate on highways. For this reason, street sweeping machines are commonplace on Australian streets, but what happens to the material they collect? Normally it is just seen as an irritation with landfill as the most suitable destination. In the past, there’s been little reason to view it any other way. Sorting through the volume and variety of material just hasn’t been worth the time, effort or cost. Read more
These are ambitious targets and the following questions need to be asked:
- Are these targets being aimed for elsewhere?
- If so, what progress are these other countries making toward achieving these targets?
- In those countries what are the distinctive developments that are allowing such progress to be made?
- Does Victoria have similar policies, programs and progress to allow these goals to be met?
- What real actions are needed in Victoria to improve the chances of meeting these targets and goals?