Next month is Plastic Free July, so now’s the time to start thinking about the small changes you can make to your daily routines that will make a big difference to our environment.
Plastic Free July is a global movement that encourages people to be part of the solution to plastic pollution and to “choose to refuse” plastic.
You can start small by refusing the top four single-use plastics – takeaway coffee cups, plastic bags, bottled water and plastic straws. Once you’ve removed these plastics from your everyday actions, why not consider adding a few more to your list. Here are some to think about:
- Buy in bulk
Say no to plastic packaging by buying in bulk. You can also take your own container in for refills. Try Valerie’s Pantry in Belmont for both wholefoods and a range of household items to help you transition away from plastic.
- Ditch the party balloons
A CSIRO study identified balloons among the top three most harmful pollutants threatening marine wildlife. With a little creativity, you can easily plan a party without balloons and other harmful single-use plastics. Some replacements could include bunting, tassels, tissue pom-poms and fresh flowers.
- Rethink your loo paper
Avoid buying toilet paper wrapped in plastic and opt for the Who Gives a Crap range. Made from bamboo or recycled paper, each roll is individually wrapped in paper – no plastic in sight. You’re also helping those in need as Who Gives a Crap donates 50% of their profits to help build toilets for those in need. Available from the Geelong Sustainability shop.
- Switch to a refillable
Switch from cheap disposable pens and consider using writing markers made from recycled paper, biodegradable cornstarch, recycled plastic or FSC-certified wood. Or invest in a pen that takes a standard ink cartridge that you can simply replace, rather than throwing out the entire pen.
You can choose to refuse for a day, a week or the whole month. No matter how small, your efforts will make a difference, particularly if they become part of your everyday behaviours.
- Feel like sharing your plans for Plastic Free July challenge with us? Drop us a line and photo at [email protected] and we’ll share your actions. We’d love to hear from you.
- Visit Plastic Free July to sign up for the challenge and you’ll receive regular tips and tricks to help you ditch single-use plastics.
It’s not only individuals and local businesses who are transitioning away from plastic. We reaffirmed our commitment to reduce plastic waste through the Plastic Wise Program Action Plan 2020-2021.
Under the plan, we will undertake a range of actions to reduce plastic used within its facilities and events. Replacement of single-use plastics with non-disposable items at City Hall, working with caterers and suppliers to phase out single-use plastics at events and participating in nation-wide environmental campaigns, such as Clean-Up Australia are just some of the actions being adopted.
We are also supporting community groups with funding to minimise single-use plastics including projects at the Ocean Grove Repair Café and the War on Waste Green Cafes partnership with Geelong Sustainability.