Our News

Cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

 A floating U-shaped barrier, 600 meters long, has been deployed from San Francisco to combat the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. A 3-meter-deep screen beneath the boom traps floating plastics and allows fish to swim safely underneath. The boom constantly transmits its location and sensor information, when these indicate it is ready a support vessel collects the amassed rubbish and transports it back to land for recycling.

The device’s creator hopes that if it is successful, it will become the first of a fleet aiming to clean up half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within 5 years. The barrier deployed from San Francisco is one of many ocean clean-up efforts worldwide as more people recognize how urgent the need is and act. Closer to home we have the Shruder device developed in Coffs Harbour, which attracted the attention of Prince Charles.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch – now almost the size of Queensland – contains plastics from as far back as the 1960s and grows steadily as roughly 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year. Part of the solution has to be prevention and education, and there are people working hard to make progress in these areas too – such as the War on Waste documentary which has taken Australia by storm. While the big thinkers’ educate and build though, we are the people who hold the most power to change this. Finding ways to use less plastic and recycling what we do use is the only long-term solution to this problem. 

BEC are intentional about reducing and recycling what we use in the little things (like our office coffee machine) and bigger things, like our probono time investment towards sustainable projects & initiatives. 

Image: ABC News

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The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 universal goals that aim to address the most urgent environmental, political and economic challenges facing the world today. They build from the Millennium Development Goals, which saw global extreme poverty and child mortality halved by it’s completion. The SDGs address a broader scope, with a stronger environmental focus and more specific goals.

Achieving these goals is not just a government responsibility, but one falls to businesses and individuals too.  To encourage individuals to act, the UN has put out The Lazy Persons Guide to Saving the World. It’s a list of realistic actions you can take to work toward the SDGs without getting off your couch and includes progressively more taxing suggestions for those willing to stand up, leave the house, or even go to work.
 
BEC is always on the lookout for new ways to improve the sustainability of our corner of the world. Its a cornerstone in our business and shows through in everything from our ESD design principals to what we do with our rubbish after lunch.  We are excited to be able to get on board with such a wide-scale effort to work toward a more sustainable future. 
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The BEC Fleet’s Latest Addition

The latest addition to our BEC fleet is all branded up 

The customized branding was designed in-house for our new toy, a supercharged and turbocharged VW Polo GTI. 

Give us a ‘honk’ if you see this sassy machine rolling through your neighbourhood. 

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Better Bin Lining

Most major supermarkets across Queensland have now banned single-use plastic bags and in the aftermath many Australian households are taking the opportunity to start lining our bins with something a little greener.

With the best of intentions, many of us use biodegradable plastic bags as liners. Unfortunately, Australian laws about what can be called ‘biodegradable’ are shockingly lax. Many products labelled ‘biodegradable’ or ‘environmentally friendly’ just have chemicals added that ensure the bags break down into micro-plastics, but they still don’t biodegrade completely and still wreak havoc on the environment – (they’re just harder to see!). 

The solution is finding bags that are bio-based (composed of polymers made from starches like corn or potatoes) which are truly biodegradable, such as Biobag. You may struggle to find Biobags at your local supermarket, but they are available online here.  It is also worth checking with your local council if they supply biobags (or something similar) for free, as some Queensland councils do.

More info here.

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