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Learn English: How I'm reducing waste in Australia

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Australians produce a large amount of waste, including food waste, plastics and items which can be recycled. Watch the video to find out why Australians think reducing waste is important and what they are doing to reduce it. Read on to learn how you can talk about waste and recycling.

Waste reduction is important for Australia because it has a big impact on our natural environment.

If we reduce the amount of waste we produce, our country and pristine environment will last a little bit longer. To 'last a little bit longer' means to be around for some time.

"We are not going to be able to survive if we keep producing waste. So if we reduce it hopefully we will last a little bit longer."

A pile of rubbish
How can we reduce waste?

What has caused Australia's waste problem? Not reusing and recycling the products we buy is one reason, but there are also many other reasons.

When you want to say something is the main reason for a problem, you can say it is the 'primary cause'.

'Primary' means it is the main reason.

"Sadly our society values big houses, big cars. I don’t know if it’ll change at least in my lifetime. That’s primary cause of waste."

A good way to reduce waste is to sort your waste and put them in the right bins. To 'put everything in its place' means to put everything where it should go.

For example, it is a good idea to put your cardboard and paper into the rubbish bin that is for paper.

"Recycling and putting everything in its place to do to go to a place where it can be properly treated I guess is a start."

Yellow, red and blue recycling bins
Recycling bins.

ABC: Shivali Nayak

'Leftover' can be used as an adjective to modify a noun. For example: leftover food. When it is used after a noun we use 'left over'.

"I try to eat as much leftover food as possible." 

"There was a lot of food left over after the party."

To 'repurpose' something can mean to find a new use for it.

"If there is something that I’m not going to use anymore I’m actually trying to make sure it’s repurposed rather than just being thrown away."

'Packaging' can refer to all the materials, often plastic, around the object being sold.

"It’s looking what’s in my supermarket trolley at the end of the day and before I buy, asking myself are they things I really need and how much packaging is on those." 

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