Choose to refuse this Plastic Free July

Published on 27 June 2024

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This month more than 140 million people across the world are joining the Plastic Free July movement. Will you join them and choose to refuse?

The majority of plastic waste Australians produce is single-use and can’t be recycled. On average, only 14% is recycled. The rest makes its way into landfills or fills up our parks, streets and waterways where it harms our wildlife.

The good news is, the NSW Government’s ban on plastic straws, bags and cutlery has been effective and we’ve seen a reduction in plastic pollution on our beaches. But there’s still so much more work to do - we need to reduce the amount of plastic waste we consume and ultimately send to landfill.

We can make small, every day changes and help turn the tide against plastics. Here we share some practical tips to help cut down the plastic in our lives. You don’t need to change everything overnight. Commit to making one change, then grow from there.

BYO or dine in

It’s estimated that Australians use 1.8 billion disposable coffee cups each year (double that figure if you include lids!). The lining of many single-use coffee cups and containers are plastic which means they are not recyclable.

There’s an easy solution to this waste: bring your own cup! Even if you can do it once or twice a week you are still reducing your waste. Alternatively, take a minute to sit down in the café or restaurant.

Other BYO items you can use to reduce your waste: drink bottles, containers, produce bags and shopping bags.


Vote with your wallet

Support businesses that minimise their use of plastics and promote sustainable behaviours.

When grocery shopping, you could ditch the major supermarkets and shop at the Double Bay organic markets (every Thursday, 9am-2pm at Guilfoyle Park) or a bulk wholefood retailer, to minimise plastic waste. Better yet, you could join one of our community gardens and grow your own produce.

For your daily caffeine hit, choose a business that’s signed up to Responsible Cafes and enjoy a discount for bringing your own cup.


Pick up litter when you see it

Unfortunately, plastic litter in Sydney Harbour is a big problem. On Clean Up Australia Day, volunteers helped us remove more than 78 kilograms of litter from Rose Bay Beach and nearby parks. The most littered item this year was plastic wrappers, with more than 3,000 fragments collected. Cigarette butts continue to be a big problem too.

Council officers clean our beaches and foreshore areas every week, but we can’t solve the plastic pollution problem on our own. You can help us by picking-up litter whenever you see it in our parks, streets and beaches. Follow the Take 3 for the Sea mantra and take three pieces of litter with you every time you visit the beach.


Don't put plastic bags in recycling bins!

Plastic bags should never go in your recycling bin as they can't be recycled. When recyclable items are contained in plastic bags, the whole lot gets sent to landfill by our waste processor, undoing all your hard work.

Items should be placed loosely in your yellow bin. Plastic bags, including food wrappers and other soft plastics, go in your red bin. So take a minute to correctly bin it.

Our recycling services

Find out more about some of our services to help you re-use and recycle including Recycle It Saturday and our e-waste pick up service.

You can also read about how we’re helping to reduce the amount of waste generated and sent to landfill by our community in our Environmental Sustainability Action Plan.

Fore more ideas on how to reduce your plastic waste, visit Plastic Free July






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