TOMRA is a world leader in recycling solutions and they have partnered with Eco Educate to support Australian schools in implementing the container refund recycling program. We sat down with TOMRA to capture what container recycling is all about and why it’s such an important initiative to be brought into our schools.
Why is it important to recycle beverage containers?
Every year we consume nearly 1.5 Trillion bottles and cans worldwide, and whilst over 40 Billion of them are returned through TOMRA reverse vending machines worldwide, too many of them still end up in landfill, or as litter in our streets, rivers and oceans. Making new containers from virgin materials is depleting our planet’s precious resources! So, what can we do?
Well, traditional recycling is one way to contribute. But many beverage containers we throw into today’s single stream system get too dirty to be turned into new containers. They are therefore downcycled into materials and products that are more difficult to recycle. Which means we then must extract more raw materials and use considerably more energy to make new containers.
So, at TOMRA we’re helping people to re-think the way they recycle as part of an easy to use process we call Clean Loop Recycling. How does it work? Just pop your used drink container into one of our TOMRA reverse vending machines, and you’re ensuring it gets a new life – over and over again. Think of it as buying the drink and borrowing the container! The more containers we get into the Clean Loop, the fewer we need to produce from new materials, the fewer the resources that have to be used and the less energy that’s wasted.
How can schools make the biggest impact in Clean Loop Recycling?
All change is created through education. Education helps people form new ideas, challenge the norm and adapt to complex changing situations around them. This is why TOMRA is just so excited to be part of the Eco Education schools program! The world needs to change, and students are the change-makers of tomorrow. It’s so important for students to have a consistent, thorough education and an understanding of the impact humans have had, and will continue to have, if we don’t change our ways. If everyone starts to make small changes, it will make a BIG difference! Once started, this ripple effect is exactly what we need to generate significant long-term change that starts with the students and ripples out to families, friends and the community at large.
What makes this education program so unique?
All that said, we recognise that recycling and resource re-use is only one part of the solution, so having the opportunity to be part of a network of industry leaders that together can provide a multi-faceted education program all with the same goal of sustainability is extremely valuable.
Furthermore, the fact that this is a comprehensive 6 year program, not just a one-off session, means that students will have a continuous environmental education throughout each semester of their education, which is long overdue.
What can we expect from TOMRA in the Eco Educate School Membership?
TOMRA is really looking forward to engaging with students, and showing them that recycling is not only fun, it’s a great example of the circular economy in action, and a way that everyone can contribute towards a more sustainable future – one bottle at a time!
Only by educating the students of today, will we be able to make a genuine change to the planet tomorrow. And once educated, we’re confident that students will feel empowered and able to pass on their newfound knowledge to family members, their community and to generations to come!
How can schools get involved?
Registration is now open for schools wishing to join the Eco Educate program in 2021 – Register Here
Schools seeking further details and information about the program can reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 1300 868 161