January 21, 2022

RAT Recycling – why is no one doing anything about this?

50 000 000+ RAT kits are destined to go straight to landfill in Australia alone – or worse.  If they are placed in kerbside recycling bins will they contaminate everything else in those bins?  Getting answers has proved time consuming but we’re on a mission.  We exist to demonstrate that consumers want the products they buy to have built in resource recovery programs.  We want to accelerate the transition from a take-make-waste linear economy to a legit Circular Economy.  Senselessly wasting our planet’s precious resources must stop.  The time and effort that goes into making products for human consumption should be respected by all who benefit from their creation taking responsibility to maximise the use of products and the materials they are made from.

Is anyone anywhere doing anything to stop RAT plastic being wasted? We are awaiting a response from the Federal Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley.  We believe a national approach is the logical best option rather than each state muddling through to create their own.   We advocate for extended producer responsibility in the form of a collection bin program where every place you buy a RAT has a collection bin.  If you purchase them online you must be supplied with a postage paid reply satchel.  Sound scary?  Why shouldn’t it be the responsibility of the maker and seller to manage the end of life materials?  Why do our council’s just have to suck it up and accept another problematic product destined for the landfills they are dictated to manage by the state governments.  This type of EPR system should be implemented for all problem waste streams, especially those that include toxins that are bound to leach one day through the man made bladders that are all that protect our underground water reserves from the toxic soup sitting at the bottom of every landfill.

We are meeting and locking in partners to assist us with our Local RAT Recycling Pilot to collect, transport, decontaminate, shred and then mould the hard plastic into something new.

Our Resource Conservation Station is now open and receiving donations of specific waste items including RAT’s – please check out the Salvage Culture page for exactly what we’re looking for.

As an aside:  Our research has brought to light the directive that pharmacies are only allowed to place a 20% mark up on RAT’s.  This is completely unfair as this is not reflective of the costs being borne by pharmacies to support our communities at this insanely difficult time.  They can not be expected to contribute to the financial cost of a RAT recycling program.  Remember when you purchase anything online rather than from a local business that you’re missing an opportunity to support your friends, family and neighbours with an injection of cash to your local economy.

We would like to thank Rob at Mullum Chemsave for his longstanding support – both of Mullum Cares and our waste reducing activities and the wider Mullum community.