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Turning the tide on trash with the ABC's War On Waste

Date: 24-Jul-18
Author: Liam Taylor

Dr. Sean O'Malley, Planet Ark's Head of Research, discussed the importance of a consistent recycling label with Craig. © Planet Ark

Dr. Sean O'Malley, Planet Ark's Head of Research, discussed the importance of a consistent recycling label with Craig.

Australia was taken by storm last year by a TV series all about rubbish. That series was ABC TV’s award-winning lifestyle series War on Waste, which put the spotlight on Australia’s poor waste and recycling habits. 

Over the course of the series, host Craig Reucassel took a critical look at the phenomenal amounts of household, retail and farming waste produced in Australia and asked what led us to become one of the most wasteful nations in the developed world.

In 2017 the series reached 4.3 million viewers and came to be the ABC’s most successful social media campaign in its history. A single video on the practice of dumping edible bananas due to cosmetic issues attracted over 20 million views. 

The impact of the series was not only felt in viewership numbers though. Following War on Waste both Woolworths and Coles announced lightweight plastic bag bans, the Keep Cup company experienced a 400% rise in sales and the number of Responsible Cafes went from 420 to 3600 in the last 12 months. 

It’s fair to say the series had a lasting impact on the Australian psyche, but the war is far from over. This year, Craig is back with Season 2 of War on Waste with his sights firmly set on our unhealthy reliance on plastic, the effects of e-waste on our environment and the food waste resulting from eating out. 

The first episode explored our problematic relationship with single-use plastic items that are not only (for the most part) unnecessary, but also pose significant threats to our waterways and marine life. The episode reached almost a million Australians (942,000), up from 759,000 viewers for last year's premier.

Our very own man of science Dr. Sean O’Malley, Head of Research, featured in a discussion with Craig on the lack of consistent recycling information on packaging and the potential of the Australasian Recycling Label to address this information gap.

To help navigate the inevitable swell of information and questions that arise from this year’s series, Planet Ark has created a handy War on Waste Tips page. Information on the page includes: 

Tune in via ABC TV or iView and join the war on waste!


War on Waste Resources 


Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia. Joining the communications team at Planet Ark, he hopes to inspire positive environmental behaviour through effective and positive messaging.

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