We tend to think locally when it comes to recycling because that is where the action is. But where do you look for inspiration and ideas when your programs start to stagnate? There are hundreds of successful recycling organizations already leading the way throughout the country and around the world.
And one of the best is Australia’s Planet Ark.
Founded in 1992 by Jon Dee, an environmental spokesperson and TV host, and tennis pro Pat Cash, Planet Ark has transformed Australia’s understanding of recycling and the environment. They achieve this through a wide slate of initiatives that empower residents through education to improve recycling awareness and incorporate best practices into their day-to-day lives. Planet Ark’s success can be attributed largely to its dedicated, well-informed staff and to the grassroots nature of their projects, all of which inspire remarkable participation rates due to their easy accessibility and clear instruction.
Planet Ark is comprehensive its approach, providing a wide range of programs designed to improve recycling rates and conservation in business, home and manufacturing sectors. They offer a steady stream of relevant stories through their blog and World Environment News feeds, as well as a series of newsletters targeting recycling in schools, the workplace and for the general public. By keeping recycling and sustainability front of mind for the Australian population at large, Planet Ark has shifted public awareness from nearly zero to widespread adoption in a very short period of time.
Planet Ark currently has more than a dozen campaigns on the go, covering everything from sustainable material awareness to power reduction to recycling coffee grounds. Some of their projects currently in the news include:
Partnering with most of the country’s major printer cartridge producers and cartridge recycling company Close the Loop, Cartridges 4 Planet Ark is now one of the world’s most successful cartridge recycling initiatives. To date, they have diverted over 33 million cartridges from landfill, and they continue to push toward their 34 million cartridge target by March 2017.
Australian Recycling Label Initiative:
In 2015, Planet Ark revolutionized Australian recycling practices by pairing with government and business partners to establish standardized recycling labelling practices across the country. This initiative takes the guesswork out of day-to-day recycling, and makes it easy for residents to dispose of products properly.
National Tree Day is one of Planet Ark’s longest running programs. Started in 1996, the program now spans two days, the first dedicated to school-run planting projects and the second nationally. So far, 3.8 million people have participated, resulting in 23 million new tree plantings. This year, 307,000 individuals participated, planting more than 1.1 million trees and shrubs.
So, if you’ve run out of ideas for your municipal recycling and waste outreach program, take a look at the Planet Ark website. We’re sure you’ll come away feeling inspired and filled with fresh ideas to invigorate your programs at home.
About Recycle Coach: Recycle Coach specializes in digital solutions for municipal and private waste management services to effectively educate and engage residents. Our technology platforms for web, mobile, and digital assistants focus on education and encouragement to help residents to be better recyclers, with the goal of inspiring positive and lasting change in communities around the world. It is our constant innovation and scalability of services that allow us to meet the needs of over 3000 communities across the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and more.
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