Australia Post has been called on to consider adapting a “simple idea” to its postal process in the name of reducing the volume of plastic waste ending up in landfill.
Environmentally conscious Aussies have begun campaigning for the postal service to encourage people to dispose of their unwanted elastic bands in post boxes.
The call followed news last month of the Royal Mail in the UK revealing users could donate their elastics via their post boxes so they could be repurposed or recycled.
A curious Twitter user quizzed the Royal Mail on its policy after seeing it advertised that rubber bands would be accepted for recycling.
“Is this true, and if so, what is the correct address to post them to?” she wrote.
To the surprise of thousands, the Royal Mail responded saying that bands, both intact and broken, could be discarded in any of its post boxes.
“If they’re usable we’ll reuse them, if not then they’ll be recycled,” its response read.
Fanfare surrounding the ingenious, practical adaptation of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” concept, didn’t take long to reach Australia.
The idea received a huge amount of support after it was shared in a Facebook group dedicated to the environmentalist mantra.
“Just saw this – thought it was a brilliant idea! Perhaps something to get Australia Post to think about doing?” a woman shared to the page.
Others agreed and commented their support of the initiative.
“That would be awesome as I always collect the ones the postie leaves behind or leaves on my letters,” one person wrote.
“This would be good if Australia Post did the same,” someone else said.
Some recalled seeing elastic bands discarded in inappropriate places.
“I see then discarded by the postie at letter boxes and also the post boxes,” one said.
“I walk passed one of the green Australia Post storage boxes everyday on my walk, and there are always several rubbers just dropped on the ground, presumably by the postie,” another wrote.
“Why can’t Australia Post start the initiative with their employees to reuse them instead of just dropping them on the ground?” they added.
Some said before the coronavirus pandemic they had collected a large bundle of bands then dropped them into their post office.
Others said they had unwittingly collected large volumes of bands because their posties had delivered their mail with them still attached.
“Now that’s a cheeky solution! I’m all for it. Provided Australia Post dispose of them properly when they clean out the boxes. I pick them up endlessly,” another person said.
Australia Post told news.com.au the option to use postal boxes to recycle elastic bands had not been ruled out.
“Australia Post is committed to creating a sustainable future and we consider the social, ethical and environmental dimensions of our entire supply chain. We’re reducing our overall level of greenhouse gas emissions, removing virgin plastics from our packaging range and driving the reduction, reuse and recycling of materials that would otherwise go to landfill,” a spokesperson said.
“We are currently investigating the usage of elastic bands across the business and are always looking for ways to improve what we do in this space, including considering the option to recycle through our postal network.”