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.

Zero plastics by mid-2020 Bayside City Council premises

SnipImageGreat news! Single use plastics will no longer be issued from Victoria's Bayside Council’s Corporate Centre and libraries by the end of June this year.

Other Council-owned properties such as community centres and senior citizen centres will stop using single use plastics by the end of June 2020 as Council commits to a future of zero single-use plastics.

This great initiative was proposed by Elizabeth Jensen President of Marine Care Ricketts Point who explained: “Beach Patrol volunteers spend countless hours cleaning rubbish from our beaches. By far the single biggest waste item we collect is plastics. Over 95% of rubbish on our beaches comes from the rivers and stormwater drains of Port Phillip Bay. This decision will help save our marine life and keep our beaches safe.”

“Micro-plastics are known to be harmful to marine life. Once plastics enter the waters, they contaminate and accumulate in marine wildlife through ingestion. There is evidence that plastic particles and associated chemicals have already entered the human food chain such as in mussels. When ingested, they may harm human health.


Cook Shire to reduce single-use plastics

Cook Shire councilThe Cook Shire Councillors recently approved the following motions to help reduce single-use plastic and litter in the region:

That Cook Shire Council works to reduce plastic pollution in the Shire by;

1. Discontinuing the use of single-use plastic products, all plastic bags and balloons at all Council facilities by 31 July 2019.

2. Discontinuing the use of single-use plastic products, all plastic bags and balloons at all Council run events immediately.

3. To aim to phase out single use plastics on Council controlled properties by 31 July 2019.

4. Encourage community members and local businesses to also reduce their own single-use plastic usage, by leading by example.

Café’s great idea for reducing plastic waste goes viral

Boomerang CupsEmu Point Café in Albany, Western Australia, put a great idea to reduce use of plastic-lined takeaway cups into action. Customers were invited to donate unwanted coffee mugs to the café for those who forgot their own reusable mugs. Cups could then be returned next visit.

This idea went viral when Melissa Joan Hart, star of Sabrina The Teenage Witch, shared a photo of their exchange program on Instagram.

Kate Marwick, Owner of the Emu Point Café said they implemented the program in the hope of a brighter and cleaner future. ‘We hope this simple environmental movement will be adopted all around Australia and the world,’ Ms Marwick said.

Perhaps more cafés and coffee drinkers around the country will adopt this wonderful idea in Plastic Free July. To read more check out the full article here.

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.


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