Our land­fills run­neth over

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television Free To Air - War on Waste,

Don’t ex­pect this three-part doc­u­men­tary se­ries to make com­fort­able view­ing; on the con­trary, it is Craig Reu­cas­sel’s ex­press aim to shock Aus­tralian au­di­ences out of their com­pla­cency about our waste­ful ways.

For in­stance, in this first episode, which looks at food waste, he vis­its a ba­nana farm and wit­nesses first hand the moun­tain of freshly har­vested fruit that is thrown back into a hole, on ac­count of the strict cos­metic stan­dards laid down by the su­per­mar­kets. (The quan­tity of water and the fuel re­quired to pro­duce and de­stroy this crop is alarm­ing, let alone that there are hun­gry peo­ple in the world.)

But it’s not just oc­cur­ring at the pad­dock gate; Reu­cas­sel of­fers the statis­tic that ev­ery week the av­er­age Aus­tralian fam­ily throws out one in ev­ery five bags of gro­ceries they pur­chase, and 3.3 mil­lion tonnes of food was wasted in 2015 (enough to fill the MCG six times). War on Waste

Reu­cas­sel meets a dump­ster-div­ing granny, and chal­lenges 10 fam­i­lies to live for one month as close to waste-free as pos­si­ble.

Later episodes deal with the is­sue of plas­tic, in par­tic­u­lar the five bil­lion plas­tic bags used by Aus­tralians each year, 85 per cent of which end up in land­fill (with a trou­bling pro­por­tion of the re­main­der find­ing their way into the ocean, and the di­ges­tive tracts of tur­tles and seabirds).

Fi­nally, Reu­cas­sel turns our at­ten­tion to the now ubiq­ui­tous take­away cof­fee cup, with up to a bil­lion thought to be thrown into land­fill each year. As well as the fash­ion in­dus­try, whose ob­ses­sion with ever cheaper and dis­pos­able gar­ments is hav­ing a dele­te­ri­ous ef­fect on the en­vi­ron­ment.

All worth think­ing about — let’s hope a few minds are changed. Tues­day, 8.30pm, ABC.

Craig Reu­cas­sel turns our at­ten­tion to the take­away cof­fee cup, among other mat­ters, in

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