Public urged to buy from local champions of sustainability
  • Thursday 16 July 2009

Cr Keryn Jones is calling on Council and the public to support local business and industry who lead the way in innovative and sustainable waste reduction practices on the Sunshine Coast.

Waste Strategy Taskforce chair Cr Jones said Council recognises the big role the business community has to play in helping Council achieve its vision of making the Sunshine Coast Australia’s most sustainable region.

“It is one thing for Council, through the Waste Strategy Taskforce, to recommend a list of goals and actions for reducing waste on the Sunshine Coast, but our vision will only become a reality with the support of industry and business,” Cr Jones said.

“Council is putting an increased focus on education in the workplace and working closely with businesses to increase their segregation capabilities, improve recycling opportunities and implement practices to help minimise waste in the workplace.

“Council acknowledges that a lot of Sunshine Coast businesses are already becoming more environmentally aware and employing innovative practices to help reduce the amount of waste they produce, and we applaud their efforts and encourage more of this thinking within our community.”

One such business already leading the way is Queensland Sustainable Industries award winner, Queensland Complete Printing Services, based in Nambour.

Owner and operator, Ms Anne Blacklaw said her company was constantly working towards reducing its impact on the environment and has been achieving considerable success with a range of strategies.

“Our team employ a strong internal waste reduction program using lean manufacturing techniques that allows us to drive out waste through our entire production process,” Ms Blacklaw said.

“Our offset printing presses use only biodegradable, soy-based inks and eco-sensitive chemicals that are cleaner and easily recycled and we choose papers from environmentally accredited suppliers.

“As a result, we have found that we recycle 95.6% of all our waste while keeping our un-recycled waste down to less than one domestic wheelie bin each week. Our current un-recycled waste is running at 80% of a domestic wheelie bin a week and we aspire to zero un-recycled waste.”

Anne said her business was more efficient from both an economic and environmental perspective thanks to the waste reduction practices they have in place.

“Not only are we reducing the impact we have on the environment, there is a strong economic case for employing sustainable strategies and for an average-sized business like ours, the savings in landfill dumping fees and the income from selling waste into high end recycling streams can be up to $5000 p.a.,” Anne said.

Cr Jones said if all businesses across the Sunshine Coast employed a similar philosophy, a huge impact could be made to the amount of waste that is sent to landfill each year.

“The Taskforce see it as a vital responsibility for business and industry to consider waste avoidance through all stages in business such as design, manufacture and distribution, packaging, re-use and resource recovery,” Cr Jones said.

“Currently commercial and industrial waste accounts for over a third of waste that ends up in landfill so there is huge potential for Council to work closely with our business community in helping them to take advantage of all recycling and waste reduction opportunities.

“I will be asking Council to give preference to local firms that are champions of sustainability and I hope other businesses and the public will do so too. These innovators are doing their bit for the Sunshine Coast so let’s get in behind them and reward their efforts.

“After all – buying local “green” goods and services is one of the best ways for us to become a sustainable region and generate clean green jobs,” she said.

The Waste Strategy Taskforce will present its recommendations for a regional waste management strategy to Council at the end of this month.