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Image of Lottie Dalziel (founder of Banish) in front of the recycling drop off.

Creating eco-friendly waste solutions

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Banish founder Lottie Dalziel is helping to create new solutions for those hard-to-recycle products through the program BRAD.

Have you ever been left puzzling over what to do with all your plastics on recycling day? Is there a bowl of old soy sauce fishes that you hide when the guests come over? You want to be eco-friendly but you end up with a carton of milk caps gathering dust on your kitchen bench. Luckily for us, there are always people coming up with new inventive solutions to these problems and that’s where Banish comes in.

Banish is a social enterprise founded by former journalist Lottie Dalziel. It was created to find a way that we can all take individual action in order to reduce our environmental impact. According to Lottie, “the main thing we focus on is how to make living sustainably easy through education … five years ago no one was really talking about sustainability.” This mindset is illustrated by their Banish Recycling and Disposal Program (BRAD).

The BRAD program is a nationwide effort, where you can send in a package to BRAD for recycling for $15. This covers not only the return shipping cost but includes all processing costs for the recycling. Some of the products in the Banish storefront are even made from the recycled plastics that people contribute, emphasising how cyclical and personal this process is.

Image of Banish's BRAD recycling drop-off


Banish has been steadily growing from its inception in 2018, with BRAD receiving 998 parcels of recycling from all over Australia last month. You can recycle more than you might think with BRAD, from mascara bottles (that you’re supposed to replace every three months) to old pens and highlighters – now is the time to do a recycling clean up! There is also good news for the coffee fanatics, you can recycle coffee pods with BRAD. So, sleep easy knowing that your morning cuppa can be made eco-friendly.

One problem though that continues in the recycling field is what to do with soft plastics. As of now BRAD doesn’t have any plans to expand into this field due to the lack of recyclers after REDcycle wound up their process in 2022.

When discussing the role manufacturers have in reducing waste Lottie is hopeful that there is progress on the horizon.

“I think we’re starting to see a lot of the big players make modifications to their supply chain and packaging already. It makes business sense; consumers want to support brands that are doing more for the planet.” Lottie says.

It goes to show the impact that both individual and collective action can have on protecting our environment; if more people make environmentally conscious decisions when they shop, then large-scale companies will have an incentive to change ways.

An added social bonus is that Banish is housed in the new Central Project initiative by TOGA Group, Atlassian and Dexus. During construction at central station Sydney, vacant retail space has been given to social enterprises. It allows worthwhile projects such as Banish and BRAD to have a storefront with high foot traffic, increasing awareness for the cause and giving back to the community.

The next step for BRAD is to focus on creating a completely circular model for in-house recycling, meaning nothing is going to waste (no pun intended). In the future Lottie would also like to see BRAD become more accessible to people across the country and educate them on changing their environmental impact.

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