Awesome Tips For Going Plastic-Free

Plastic Free July aims to raise awareness of the problems with single use disposable plastic and challenges people to do something about it.

Whilst we have all mostly jumped on board with recycling, the rapidly expanding consumption of plastic means that recycling alone will never be the solution. We need to change our ways and focus on refusing, reducing and reusing too.

So what does that mean to you? We are all busy and I hear you already, it’s what went through my head too when writing this. What about the bin liner, the lunch box items that don’t fit into the re-useable containers you have (because you do try to be good), the goods from the deli and butcher or the coffee you grab on the run? Believe it or not there are simple, easy and convenient solutions available for all of these that won’t cost you your sanity.

This push is not about ridding your home of every plastic item, that will just add to the problem. It is about avoiding new single-use plastic, like take-away containers, cutlery, bottles, straws and plastic bags. Habits are formed and thus can be changed. Knowing that the effects of BPA (bisphenol A) and phthalates (that are common additives to plastic) can have harmful effects on humans, is just one reason to consider alternatives.

Our marine life is paying a high price for our life of convenience. According to Ocean Conservancy, it is estimated that 80 per cent of the ocean’s marine debris is from the land and of the top 10 items found in ocean debris, five are associated with beverages. Have you heard of “Plastic Island? It’s a paradise being turned into a graveyard by our throwaway culture, and worth Googling.

A change has started with more than 60 per cent of us already refusing plastic shopping bags, avoiding pre-packed fruit and vegetables, picking up other people’s litter and avoiding buying bottled water.

This is not meant to be a scare campaign, just an enlightenment to the fact that these plastic single-use items that we use just for a few minutes are made of a material that is designed to last forever. It’s not too hard to work out that this equation doesn’t add up.

Our cover stars, Cathie and Joel Webb from The Source Bulk Foods, are passionate about waste reduction in all its forms, from food to plastics through to clothing. They want people to realise the wastefulness of our society as they believe once you know about it, it’s harder to ignore. Cathie said, “It’s not about finger pointing, it’s about raising awareness so that people start to see the waste so they can then take that step to cutting down. We need to change our mindset and habits.” Joel added, “and the kids are so important in this too.”

If you want to know more or want to get involved, we have listed some websites where you can do just that. We have also included some great easy plastic free alternatives for you to consider and some great products that solve the single-use plastic problem.

Be Part of the Solution

Plastic Free Alternatives
•• Bin liners – line your bin with several layers of newspaper.
•• Take-away drinks – use a refillable cup or bottle and refuse a straw.
•• Cling film – use a re-usable container or aluminium foil.
•• Butchery and Deli – take your own containers to be filled.
•• Plastic water bottles – use stainless steel or glass bottles.
•• Doggy doo bags – use folded up newspaper.
•• Nappies – use reusable cloth nappies.

Plastic Bottles – Be Aware 
•• Don’t heat by filling with hot liquid or putting in the microwave or dishwasher.
•• For children especially, avoid bottles coded 7 (Codes 2, 4 or 5 are best for re-use).
•• Colouring agents in plastics do leach into water, so choose clear plastics.
•• At signs of cracking, always replace.

Boomerang Bags

All over Australia, Boomerang Bag groups have started up. Community members are coming together to sew fabric bags out of recycled materials. These bags are then made available at supermarkets for the public to ‘borrow and bring back’ giving people an option to use if they forgot to bring their own bag rather than using plastic. You don’t need to be able to sew to be involved, there are plenty of other things to do from collecting donations, to cutting or printing the material with the Boomerang logo and much more.

If you want to get involved visit Boomerang Bags and click on the “Get Involved” link to get details on your contact in your area.

Want to know more or get involved:

Cairns and Far North Environment Centre
Representing the area from Cardwell through to the Torres Strait.
To visit the page, click here.

Plastic Free July Campaign
Choose to refuse single use plastic.
To visit the page, click here.

Plastic Pollution Solutions
Awareness, education and action.
To visit the page, click here.

War on Waste
A critical look at Australia’s household, retail and farming waste.
To visit the page, click here.

The Source Bulk Foods Cairns
Providing a fun and interactive no waste shopping experience.
To visit the website page, click here, or Facebook page, click here.
A 10/85 Lake St, Cairns City
Ph 4031 5698

1. Wooden Spoon – RRP $6.95 – Visit The Source Bulk Foods
2. Organic Cotton Produce Bags 4pk – RRP $16.95 – Visit The Source Bulk Foods
3. Farmers Market Playtime Kit – RRP $35.00 – Visit Earth Toys
4. The Source Stainless Steel Insulated Food Jar 600ml – RRP $22.95 – Visit The Source Bulk Foods
5. The Source Stainless Steel Water Marble Bottle 500ml ($2 from every bottle sold goes to Wateraid) – RRP $19.95 – Visit The Source Bulk Foods
6. Olli Ella Luggy Basket – RRP $85.00 – Visit Koru Furniture and HomeWares

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