Plastic addictions: Getting down to business

What’s the issue?

It’s not surprising plastic pollution has been receiving much deserved public attention lately, from ABC’s Craig Reucassel declaring War on Waste, to Channel Ten’s Project ‘Ban the Bag’ petition. The pressure is mounting for business, government and the public to do more in the battle against ‘fast plastic.’

‘Fast plastic’ refers to single use items used for a few minutes but last permanently in our environment. This plastic will outlive us and outswim us. Unfortunately, it’s everywhere you go, and we use it on autopilot without thinking what happens to it. Here are some fast facts:

  • Almost 90% of marine debris found on Sydney’s beaches is plastic (e.g. bottles, caps, straws). 
  • Australians buy 600 million litres of bottled water a year.
  • We use 10 million plastic bags a day.
  • 1 billion coffee cups are littered and landfilled every year.

So with Plastic Free July happening around the world this month, it’s never been a better time to break our ‘fast plastic’ habits for the greater good of our hood.

​​Local plastic-free businesses 

There are many local businesses helping to turn the tide on this epidemic. Roomie Café for example, offers 50c discount for bringing your own coffee cup and have excluded plastic from their business operations. ‘All of our bags, straws and trays are paper, and the cutlery is bamboo’ says Owner Eva. ‘We don’t have plastic milk bottles, all milk is from the tap that is connected to a 10L bag’.

Scoop’s, an unpackaged wholefoods store in Bondi have a message to businesses and consumers addicted to plastic. ‘Take a daily note of how much single use plastic you use every day, add it all up, then think about it lasting in landfill or the ocean forever’. Now opening their fourth store they are clearly seeing the benefits of their approach. ‘Our customers are finding this approach to shopping refreshing and fun’, says store owner Emily.

What can you do?

1. To start your plastic free journey, we suggest to start with the BIG 4 plastic polluters:  

  1. Plastic bags - Take your reusable bags grocery shopping and say ‘NO’ to plastic bags when offered. Ask your local shop owner to go plastic bag free and add your voice to the #banthebag campaign online.  
  2. Plastic bottles – swap for reusable ones.
  3. Takeaway coffee cups - BYO a reusable coffee cup. Contrary to popular belief, they are rarely recycled. You may even score a discount from local cafes.
  4. Straws - Refuse them when offered.

2. Join the great community events happening this month to learn more:

27 JUNE                 DIY WORKSHOP PLASTIC FREE SKIN CARE 

2 JULY                   FILM SCREENING AND PANEL DISCUSSION

9 JULY                   BONDI BEACH CLEAN-UP

20 JULY                 DOCUMENTARY AND CHAT

29 JULY                 MARKET POP-UP STALL

Brought to you by your Plastic Free July event partners: Blue Bondi Green, Happy Fish, Plastic Free Bronte, Responsible Runners, Seaside Scavenge, Tangaroa Blue, Take3, Transition Bondi, Underwater Research Group and Waverley Council.

Head to secondnature.org.au/plastic_free_july for details and to book.

You can do it. You have got this! 

Thanks for making plastic-free living second nature.


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