Single use plastics are one of the most common types of marine debris. Disposable plastic items such as shopping bags, water bottles (and their lids!), straws, cutlery and cups, too often find their way into our waterways where they will never biodegrade, and cause serious problems for our marine life.
Fortunately, the single-use plastic issue is an easy one to fix! By switching single-use, disposable items for multi-use, durable ones, we can drastically reduce the amount of plastic waste being generated in our communities. And there are many different ways to go about making this happen.
Check out the ideas below on how people just like you can engage with the relevant people and businesses in your community, to reduce the amount of single-use, disposable plastic items that are currently available where you live. And remember, sometimes it is as simple as remembering to grab your stainless steel water bottle, bamboo cutlery, or reusable shopping bag with you when you leave the house.
Single use plastics such as straws, plastic shopping bags and plastic cutlery are now days found readily in the marine environment and regularly at beach clean-ups across the world. Not only do plastics pose a threat of entanglement to marine life they also have the capacity to absorb toxins from the environment and then pass them onto organisms if they are later consumed. It is estimated that Australian's use 10,000,000 straws every day! And all of them get just one use, before they get ditched, some escaping into the environment, and plenty of them making their way into our ocean and onto our beaches.
A new poster is on display at Horn Island School in the Torres Strait Islands! The poster explains how long rubbish that is thrown into the environment, will stay in the environment, potentially killing and injuring local wildlife.
The school's P&C has put the poster up in an area where students have their parade and lunch breaks, and teachers talk to students about the plastics in their lunch boxes, and pick some out to staple up on the wall with the poster. You can download the poster here!
A great resource from the crew at The Last Plastic Straw! Download and print these "Please Serve Straws Only Upon Request" cards to keep in your wallet ready to go, then leave them with your bill at restaurants, cafes and bars to help spread the message that not everyone wants to receive their drink with a straw in it! This simple action from the hospitality industry would reduce the number of straws used enormously, and prevent that horrible situation when your drink arrives already with a straw in it, and you can't give it back!
It is estimated that Australian's use 10,000,000 straws every day! And all of them get just one use, before they get ditched, some escaping into the environment, and plenty of them making their way into our ocean and onto our beaches.
That is why 14-year-old Olivia and her 15-year-old brother Carter are launching their global "OneLessStraw Pledge Campaign" in Sept/Oct of this year. Olivia and Carter realised that reducing our plastic footprint could be very easy to do; we just need to say 'NO' to single-use plastics such as straws.
The www.OneLessStraw.org website is now live and has lots of resources and a cool interactive map which will track the progress of the campaign around the country and even around the world.
Since 2013, numerous groups have been documenting coastal and underwater marine debris on North Stradbroke Island. Some of these groups have united for a Clean Straddie campaign to try to achieve better outcomes for clean ups, data collection and addressing debris at the source. Recently, a review of data revealed several key trends and these were summarised in an infographic to help showcase easy steps that everyone can take to help reduce critical debris items that are coming from local sources. The infographic was posted around the island, on ferries and online to inspire action on simple activities with big positive impacts collectively.