Reducing our consumption of plastics

In This Section

What are single-use plastics?

Single-use plastics, or disposable plastics, are used once before they are thrown away. These items include plastic bags, straws, take-away cutlery and cups, coffee stirrers, soft drink and water bottles and most food packaging.

Single-use plastics are petroleum (oil) based which makes them very difficult to recycle and impossible to break down. This means most end up in landfill and eventually in our water supply and oceans, releasing toxic chemicals overtime. The environmental and health impact is devastating.

But it’s not too late to help save the planet. We all rely on a healthy ecosystem to survive and we all need to do our bit.

The simplest answer is to reduce our overall plastic consumption and make some easy purchasing swaps.

Here’s how you can do your bit:

  • Don’t buy bottled water, buy a reusable bottle and refill from the tap or water filter
  • Say no to plastic straws and plastic cutlery
  • Say goodbye to zip lock bags and plastic wrap, use glass containers and beeswax wraps to store leftovers and to carry your lunch
  • Swap your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one
  • Buy a keep-cup for you takeaway coffee or better still dine-in and enjoy your caffeine hit with a friend
  • Say no to plastic bottled soft drink, it will do your health the world of good as well
  • Choose alternative materials where you can, think about buying laundry detergent in cardboard boxes, bamboo pegs and metal coat hangers
  • Refill where you can. There are so many great bulk buy stores around that allow you to refill containers with food and household cleaning items
  • Buy your groceries wrapped in paper rather than plastic
  • Bring a reusable shopping bag with you to the supermarket.

Download our Quick Guide - Alternatives to Single Use Plastic

By encouraging people to be more aware of their plastic use, we can create a cleaner world for generations to come.

Woollahra Council is committed to making a difference. We don’t use single-use plastic bags or supply straws, and we banned plastic water bottles at Council events and meetings in 2009. Our library has also used calico long-use bags for years. In March 2018, Council also resolved that all local festivals and events that Council sponsors, endorses, or participates in, be free of single-use plastic.

Get Involved!

Join our HarbourCare program to help protect our marine life and keep our harbour clean.

Or simply 'Take 3 for the Sea' - take 3 pieces of rubbish from the beach every time they visit. Every little bit helps.