March 18 is Global Recycling Day and Amanda’s challenge for Friendly Friday is to talk about RECYCLING.
Earlier this week, I’d posted about Green Initiatives in Canada. I heartily support these programs. I shop with reusable bags and reject single use plastics like straws, cutlery and grocery bags. I re-use bottles and boxes and when they’re done, I put them in the blue box for municipal recycling. Organic waste goes into the green box for composting. Electronic waste is sorted … and so on. But realistically, it’s impossible to escape plastics and packaging waste. It’s there in the most fundamental of food products and essentials for living.
It’s disheartening to see the effect of plastics and garbage on the planet. Depressing too, to think that my little effort to reduce-reuse-recycle won’t make a spot of difference in the large-scale scheme of things. Which is why I was very happy to watch this documentary on Australia’s Queen of Waste, Veena Sahajwalla.
Veena is a recycling superstar who’s used her background in materials science to invent industrial solutions for waste reuse. Twenty years ago, she invented a way to extract carbon from old tires to go into the steel making process to replace coke and coal. More recently, she’s pioneered the idea of creating “micro factories” to recycle textiles and glass into ‘green’ ceramics. What’s particularly notable, is how she’s successfully partnered with large companies to bring her research into fruition. For instance, in 2019 she partnered with Mirvac, a property construction giant in Australia to make ceiling tiles, walls and furniture from ‘green’ ceramics.
In this documentary by ABC News, we are introduced to her work. In the video her enthusiasm is infectious and her optimistic perspective is enlightening. “Waste is not a problem to be managed” she said in this article. “It is an opportunity to be explored.”