As published in The Beast magazine - Sept 2016
You’ve probably heard all the ‘hoo-ha’ about the scourge of plastic on our planet. About how an estimated eight million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans each year, where it entangles and endangers wildlife.
Single-use plastics, like straws, take a whole heap of resources to make, are used within minutes and then take hundreds of years to leave our environment. It’s sobering to think that every bit of plastic ever made still exists somewhere (and hopefully not in the gut of a poor unsuspecting turtle). This very real and scary problem has gained much deserved attention lately, especially with Plastic Free July.
Check our A-Z list of simple ways that we can try to curb our plastic addiction every day, even beyond July.
A – Avoid over-packaged, processed, canned and frozen convenience foods. Like the bananas packaged in a polystyrene tray wrapped in cling film?!
C – Cut cling wrap from your life. Store food in reusable containers or machine-washable cloth wrappers for the fridge and lunchbox.
D – Ditch disposable water bottles for reusable ones, readily available at supermarkets, homewares sports and homewares stores.
EF – Eat naked (foods, that is) and buy in bulk, to reduce the need for unnecessary packaging.
G – Green-up your picnic with reusable picnic plates, cups and cutlery. Or just BYO from home.
H – Hemp bags are very eco-friendly and highly durable alternatives to plastic bags.
I – Invest in a reusable coffee cup for your next caffeine hit. You may even score a discount from local cafes. Check out some of these at www.responsiblecafes.org.
J – Jump online and pledge to be plastic free.
KL – Keep our beaches litter-free. Plastic is the second most common litter item on Bondi Beach. Take three pieces of rubbish with you when leaving the beach. www.take3.org.au
M – Make your own yummy yoghurt from easy-make kits at the supermarket, to avoid buying the individually packaged yoghurt containers.
NO – Say a polite ‘NO’ to plastic bags at your local shop, and use reusable bags instead. Better still, ask your local shop owner to go plastic bag free. Find our more at www.bluebondigreen.org.
PQ – Quit using plastic containers altogether and choose glass or steel for food storage instead.
R – Recycle soft plastics, like bread, pasta, rice, cereal and lolly bags, newspaper wrapping and old green bags at Coles and some Woolworths stores.
S – Straws suck. Literally. Next time ask, think before you drink (with a straw).
T – Take your reusable bags for grocery shopping. It sends out a strong signal to other shoppers too.
U – Use social media to spread the word about plastic-free to inspire mates to join you.
V – Volunteer for local activities or events to help ‘talk the walk’ on being plastic free. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
W – Wash plastic sandwich and freezer bags to dry on the rack and reuse for another time.
Y - Say ‘YES’ to a legislative ban on the bag in NSW.
Z – Zero-waste is a challenge, but many like you are already well on your way to making it happen!
Thanks for making plastic free second nature.