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Catching up with Ian Kiernan at the 1 Degree Zero Waste Expo

23/11/2016 11:32 AM

1 Degree’s Zero Waste Expo was held at News Corp Australia during Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week. Ian Kiernan AO, Chairman and Founder of Clean Up Australia and Clean Up the World attended the Expo’s launch event and caught up with Dr Tony Wilkins, Head of Environment at News. 

Ian, your time at Clean Up Australia now spans 26 years can you reflect on how the concept of Zero Waste fits with the tremendous work you and your volunteers have done over that time?

Well Tony we have been focused on not just cleaning up activities but on doing things differently and on changing behaviour and that’s something that I can see similarities with here at this Zero Waste event.

Of course doing things differently also means preventing litter in the first place and this is a big focus for you?

Yes it is, that is why we so strongly supported and fought for the introduction of a container refund scheme for NSW – something we will see in place next year.

Recycling is another area where you have provided strong support…

Yes 40% of rubbish collected in the environment by our volunteers would have been recycled if it didn’t become litter. That is a huge waste of resources and energy we can use. For example the energy used to make one new aluminium can will make you seven aluminium cans from recycled materials.

 And that same argument holds true for newspapers as well, we use only a sixth of the energy to make pulp from recycled newspapers as we do from virgin fibres. 

Ian, I noticed that you have teamed up with the same Zero Waste partners as us here at News?

Yes, Clean Up has a great history of partnerships with the community and we excited to have Cleanaway as a major partner working alongside us to help with new opportunities and to grow and expand our activities. Clean Up and Cleanaway have a great partnership, it’s a perfect alignment between two teams that share a desire to support communities in the prevention and recovery of materials that are currently considered to be waste entering our wonderful landscape.

Thanks Ian, it was great to have you here at our Zero Waste Expo and keep on Cleaning Up, its been a fantastic contribution to our cleaner environment.


Photo L – R: Stephanie Fett (1 Degree Program Manager), Dr Tony Wilkins (News’ Head of Environment), Paul Klymenko (CEO of Planet Ark), Brad Gray (National Campaigns Manager for Planet Ark) all at 1 Degree’s Zero Waste Expo at News Corp Australia’s Head Office in Sydney


  • Consider your purchasing policy – choosing items that can be recycled at the end of their life and that have less packaging
  • Reduce energy costs by only purchasing energy efficient equipment and then ensure equipment is recycled at the end of its life
  • Collect and recycle batteries from equipment – you’ll be amazed just how many batteries are in your office
  • Consider LED office lighting – it uses less energy and is way more efficient
  • Turn off lights in areas not being used and turn off screens before you leave at night: you’d be surprised how many glowing  screens we see in empty offices on the way home each evening
  • Take your own coffee cup or mug to your favourite café
  • Say no to a plastic bag with your takeaway lunch
  • Avoid buying bottled water
  • Reuse takeaway containers if possible – and if you don’t want to reuse them, recycle them