Waste reduction and packaging
Bunnings is committed to pursuing sustainability throughout its business operations, including sending less waste to landfill.
While new waste reduction initiatives were introduced, a number of other, countervailing factors impacted results including international import restrictions. As a result, Bunnings increased its waste to landfill intensity rate at 2.7 tonnes of landfill per $1 million of revenue, compared to 2.5 tonnes the previous year. Nonetheless, in total, 55 per cent of waste was diverted from landfill across the business1.
Through the use of material recovery facilities, metro Adelaide stores diverted over 98 per cent of waste from landfill.
A container packaging app was launched in January 2018 to gain greater visibility of non-recyclable pallets in the supply chain. The app is now being used by Bunnings Distribution Centres across Australia, allowing the business to proactively work and engage with overseas suppliers and agents to seek alternative, recyclable pallets to reduce pallet waste.
Polystyrene recycling was assessed during the year, with a trial running at four Bunnings stores in Brisbane. Over 2.4 tonnes of polystyrene was diverted from landfill during the 12-month trial, with polystyrene recycling being offered to all stores moving forward.
Green Teams were relaunched in every Bunnings store, with environmentally passionate team members coming together to drive waste reduction initiatives. Ideas implemented included giving timber pallets to not-for-profit groups in the local community, such as Men’s Sheds.
Bunnings continued to drive product stewardship initiatives in local communities. This included continuing to support paint stewardship by collaborating with Paintback, an initiative designed to divert unwanted paint and paint packaging from ending up in landfill and waterways. This support saw 20 Bunnings stores across Australia host one-day drop-off events in the store carpark, giving local residents the opportunity to bring in unwanted paint and paint packaging.
Through these events, over 170,000 kilograms of paint and paint packaging were collected, with the packaging recycled and the waste paint treated in a number of ways including energy recovery for solvent and liquid/solid separation for water-based paint.
Bunnings stores in Adelaide supported Electronic Recycling Australia, an arm of social enterprise Minda. From May 2017 to June 2018 over 290,000 kilograms of e-waste was dropped off by customers, which was then sorted and dismantled by people with a disability before being recycled.
Ten Melbourne Bunnings stores continued to provide a battery collection service for customers. At the end of the financial year customers had brought in over 20,000 kilograms of batteries since Bunnings began participating in Batteryback in 2009.
Stores across Australia and New Zealand also continued to work with local councils to drive responsible waste disposal and recycling. Initiatives included stores hosting council run e-waste, paint and hazardous household waste collection days in the carpark. Support for local sustainability initiatives was also showcased at the National General Assembly of Local Government, where Bunnings engaged with local councils and presented on past and current local waste initiatives.
Bunnings will continue to actively drive more product stewardship initiatives to help customers make sustainable living choices in the next financial year.
1 Based on cubic metre of waste recycled instead of sent to landfill