Single Use Plastics

Produce BagSingle 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.

Wash Against Waste Trailer

Trailer CCPFWritten by Michelle Gabelich.
I am a part of a group called Cape to Cape Plastic Free Group based in Margaret River. We are volunteers tackling the demise of single use plastics. My main focus has been setting up and coordinating a regular washup station at our Farmer's Market. we set up once a month (would like more often but volunteer base needs to build) next to a coffee van (or two) and offer a china cup to market goers and then wash up after on their return. It is very well received.


No more straws use in Council events and venues

Molly Steer 3Cairns Regional Council has announced on the 11th of April during the Planning and Environment Committee Meeting to take steps to remove single-use plastics from Council events and venues in a mission to lead by example to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Cairns is one of the first few councils in Australia to make such a commitment.

Molly Steer, a 10-year-old girl, who has been actively working in her campaign “Straw No More” since 2017, encouraged this action. Molly was only 9 years old when she watched the documentary “A Plastic Ocean”, and decided to start her own campaign to remove the use straws in an attempt to reduce the impact of straws on sea animals, especially sea turtles. She initially started in her own school and now more than 90 schools in Australia and overseas have banned the use of straws.


2018 Eurobodalla Calendar

2018 ESC CalendarAs part of the Eurobodalla Shire Council's annual primary education for schools we run with a theme which normally links to impacts on our marine environment.

Over the last 20 years this has included the creation of a calendar which showcases artwork which aligns with the annual theme that have been done by local school students.

The theme for the 2018 calendar was "Land and Sea Matter to Me".



Waste Free Events for Kingston!

marathonThe participants of the Kingston City Council Source Reduction Plan set single use polystyrene and plastic cups in its sight, particularly those arising from sporting events. The first step involved finding out when events are taking place and to put a list together from the local region. The working group decided to target outdoor sporting events and then went on to find out who oversaw events approval/ permitting. Members from the SRP promoted the use of paper cups instead of plastic or polystyrene at events and discussed that litter was a major issue at such events.

Event organisers took a long time to respond to the working groups recommendations of infrastructure solutions and replacing plastic cups for compostable ones. Only once visual evidence was presented did officials did agree to replace plastic cups with compostable cups and mentioned they would allocate a larger number of staff and volunteers to clean up efforts in future.

The SRP working group is now lobbying event organisers for another sporting event to adopt a more sustainable approach as well. Kingston City Council responded to the Source Reduction Plan process by changing their “event vendor guidelines” to ensure vendors are using the Kingston Waste Wise program. The project is ongoing.

The Last Straw in City of Port Phillip!

LIF CoPP imagePlastic straws are a common form of litter in the City of Port Phillip. As a result of the City of Port Philip (CoPP) Source Reduction Plan workshop in 2017, there was a clear community concern to reduce this form of marine debris. Particpants wanted to use the template from The Last Straw and implement it locally. The project objective was to reduce plastic straw litter by engaging with cafes and bars in the CoPP and replacing their plastic straws with paper ones to reduce the impact of straw pollution. A representative from Beach Patrol (a local community group that targets marine litter) approached 9 cafes to take part in a trial of replacing plastic straws for paper ones (supplied by the project) for 2-3 months, followed by a cost-benefit analysis. Each café agreed to take part.

Each café was given 1000 paper straws, 3 x A5 flyers outlining the initiative and trial, and asked to place the straws out of sight – only offering the paper straws when requested. Extra funding was harnessed from Beach Patrol and Port Philip Council to purchase more paper straws so a further 6 cafes were brought on board. Exposure for participating cafes was done by taking photos of the cafe staff holding a cup of paper straws with the cafe name on one of their boards in the back ground. These pictures were posted on Instagram and Facebook with a #lastplasticstraw hashtag. There was a local newspaper article that highlighted the initiative and created more positive press for those participating establishments.

The project did encounter some challenges along the way, larger cafes went through their supply much faster, and if the project team did not continue to supply paper straws they would default back to plastic as demand warranted. This meant more time spent visiting cafes every 2 weeks and following up than anticipated. Also, café staff are very time poor so would often not hide straws as requested. It is more efficient to simply provide straws with drinks so that staff do not have to revisit tables repeatedly, even though hiding straws drastically reduces costs. Overall, most cafes (3/4) were happy to continue to use paper straws provide a reliable stockist was put forward.

This model is now being rolled out in other Philip Bay council areas.

Page 1 of 6