July is just the beginning - what on-going changes can we make?
- Have reusable bags stashed in all the ‘to go’’ points- kitchen, car, work-desk, hand bags, computer bags. And return them to those places when you are finished. Keep your purse wallet in the bags on your car trips so you don’t forget the bags!
- Raid the op shops for reusable coffee cups (not too big they don’t fit under the coffee machine) to keep in various locations when you might want the take-away.
- Keep a spoon in your bag and use your reusable coffee cup as a food container instead of takeaway containers.
- Invest in some smaller produce bags to replace those pesky plastic ones.
Say ‘No’ to single use plastic
During the month of July people all around the State and indeed the world are drawing attention to our rampant use of disposable plastic. In 2016 over one million people worldwide registered. Plastic Free July is sending the challenge to us all to minimize or eliminate purchasing anything with single use plastic such as: plastic bags, cling wrap, straws and water bottles, for a day, a week or the whole month.
Mindarie Regional Council Waste Education Officer, Peg Davies said, “It is only when we try not to use plastic do we get an idea of how much it is part of our lives.’ Plastic is fantastic, it is used everywhere.
Peg suggested eliminating use of the big four, plastic bags, coffee cup lids, straws and water bottles. Doing so makes for a thought provoking and great conversation topic at home or work.
“Although single use plastic does not form a significant quantity of the waste stream due to its light weight its inability to break down makes it a huge problem for littering and marine pollution. Also the energy and resources going into materials we use and then discard is irresponsible’, Peg said.
Very little of this type of plastic is recycled and unfortunately much of it is disposed of poorly. It is estimated that worldwide 8 million tonnes of plastic, the equivalent of one garbage truck load per minute, is dumped into the oceans.
There are chemicals in some plastics that have been associated with harmful health effects to humans and the damage ingested plastics are making on our marine birds and other animals is now world-wide.
To quote from the ’Bag it’ movie, that explores single use plastics, "Think about it. Why would you make something that you're going to use for a few minutes out of a material that's basically going to last forever, and you're just going to throw it away. What's up with that?"
For more information, tips on reducing plastic use and how to register for the challenge, contact www.plasticfreejuly.org