In the 1960s, Australians were considered amongst the best in the world when it came to the ways they dealt with waste. Many recycling programs – especially those involving paper and newspaper – were pioneered in Australia and expanded into other areas in the year thereafter. And in the late-60s and 1970s, the launch of the ‘Keep Australia Beautiful’ campaign put the issue of waste at the forefront of the national consciousness. But in recent decades, the combined effects of consumer demand, retail cosmetic standards for fresh produce and cynicism about the effectiveness of waste and recycling campaigns has seen a surge in the volume of waste we produce as a nation. In the past twenty years, Australia’s waste has grown at twice the rate of our population. And according to the OECD, Australia ranks number five in the world for the amount of municipal waste generated nationally every year. In this new three-part documentary series ‘War on Waste’ for ABC-TV, presenter Craig Reucassel will take a critical and first-hand look at every aspect of the issue of household, retail and farming waste in Australia – and ask, what has changed in the Australian psyche, and in our consumer culture, that has led us to become among the most wasteful nations in the developed world? We’ll ask why Australia generates 52 mega tonnes a year of TOTAL waste, according to the forthcoming National Waste Data Report2 – in areas of food, fashion, plastic, packaging and more. We’ll discover the truth about where various kinds of waste actually end up, and learn what we can do to reduce the staggering volumes we produce. Importantly, we’ll project into the future. With the amount of waste increasing in Australia by nearly 8% a year, we’ll also ask - what happens if we do nothing? Is it time for us, as a nation, to seriously re-examine the ways we consume and dispose of consumer items? And will our insatiable appetite for new and increasingly disposable technology continue to cause massive environmental problems for the generations to come? Across three episodes, we’ll challenge everyone to re-look at their behaviour – from consumers, to communities and big retail corporations.