5 innovative businesses cleaning up Australia every day

- March 3, 2023 3 MIN READ


With Clean Up Australia Day coming up this Sunday, 5 March, now is a great time to remind all small businesses that being impact-driven and environmentally aware is in your power every single day, no matter your size.

More than just a brilliant initiative to clean up Australia’s natural spaces, Clean Up Australia Day serves as an annual reminder that we could all do much better when it comes to waste reduction and sustainable practices.

Clean Up Australia’s 2022 National Rubbish Report revealed that Australia generates the most single-use plastic waste in the world per capita, with the equivalent of 60 kilograms of waste for every Australian per year. Of the 366,144 pieces of rubbish picked up by the organisation’s volunteers in 2022, 63 per cent was plastic – a 17 per cent increase from 2021. Single-use plastics such as plastic bottles, takeaway containers, food packaging and lids make up 25 per cent of all reported rubbish.

However, Chair of Clean Up Australia, Pip Kiernan, says Australians need not feel defeated but look for practical everyday ways we can all work to improve the environment and move towards a more circular economy and greater sustainability.

“I encourage all Aussies to reduce, reuse and refuse as often as they can as a simple first step we can all action,” Kiernan said. “It’s easy to make a difference. Joining in on Clean Up Australia Day, opting for reusable shopping bags and coffee cups, avoiding single-use plastics, making purchases with longevity in mind, and actively seeking out reusable and recycled packaging is a great way to start.”

5 brilliant Aussie businesses that are cleaning up Australia every single day

Along with the above tips, another brilliant way to take part in keeping Australia’s natural spaces clean and healthy is by supporting businesses that are doing so each and every day.

Here are five innovative Aussie businesses that are doing great things to keep Australia beautiful.

1. Sustainable Salons

Sustainable Salons is a social enterprise that helps hair, beauty and pet salons reduce their impact on the planet and invest in local communities. Recycling hair, metals, paper, plastics, chemicals, glass, cardboard, razors, tools and more, Sustainable Salons help over 1,500 salons divert 95 per cent of waste from landfill. Materials they recycle go towards brilliant products such as wigs for cancer patients, dog collars, sunglasses and ‘hair booms’ which are used to clean up oil spills in waterways.

Check out the Sustainable Salons story on KBB TV:

2. Succession Ecology

One of this year’s Telstra Best of Business Award winners, Succession Ecology is a multi-faceted ecology consulting business that finds innovative solutions to recolonise and revegetate arid zones in nature and implement ecological management plans and environmental protection programs for businesses. The organisation works with clients across a broad range of industries to rebuild ecosystems, restore habitat and support biodiversity.

3. Seabin

World-famous Aussie ocean clean-up device, Seabin, has removed 100 tonnes of marine litter from Sydney Harbour since 2020, including an average of 301 single-use plastic items removed every single day. This brilliant social enterprise has now expanded into global territories like the US.

Listen to our inspiring chat with Seabin co-founder, Pete Ceglinski, on the First Act podcast:

4. Great Wrap

As the only compostable stretch wrap made with food waste, Great Wrap is 100 per cent compostable, adding organic matter to your compost pile while leaving no microplastics behind. This innovative Aussie business believes if all of the world’s single-use plastic were replaced with compostable bioplastic made from food waste, forestry waste, wastewater, seaweed, algae or other bio-waste materials, we could have an immediate and profound impact on climate change and plastic pollution.

5. Returnr

Returnr Marketplace is Australia’s first online zero-waste grocery and meal delivery service. The membership-based service allows customers to place weekly food and grocery orders online, which are then dispatched to customers in specially designed reusable tote bags and containers. Empty containers can be collected for washing and reuse, creating an environmentally friendly circular economy for food packaging.

Find out how your business can get involved in Clean Up Australia Day here.

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