North Sydney Council, in partnership with local residents, businesses and community partners are committed to raising awareness and enacting long-term behaviour change about using single-use plastic.
The aim is to eliminate all single-use plastic in North Sydney. We want to ensure that North Sydney residents and local businesses remain ‘single-use’ plastic free to help preserve our environment and avoid unnecessary plastic waste and litter.
Plastics were developed in the early 20th century and were environmentally important, replacing ivory, tortoiseshell, horn and other plant and animal products. By the 1960s plastic had gone from being used in durable items to widespread use including disposable plastic packaging. Every piece of plastic ever produced still remains somewhere in the earth today which can have harmful effects to both our environment and health.
A few staggering statistics about plastic:
- We now use a million plastic bags a minute globally.
- Some sources estimate that 500 million plastic straws are used daily.
- Every day an estimated 2.25 billion takeaway coffee cups are consumed.
- Plastic now makes up 75-90% of marine pollution.
- In Australia the CSIRO’s three-year marine survey found that the density of plastic ranges from a few thousand pieces of plastic per sq km to more than 40,000 pieces of plastic per sq km.
- Plastic can act as a sponge for other toxins in the ocean to cling to, is then ingested by sea creatures and toxins then "biomagnify" up the food chain.
- In some patches of the ocean the plastic to plankton ratio is up to 46:1
- We currently recover only 5-10% of the plastics we produce - the rest is landfill or litter.
What You Can Do
The challenge is quite simple. Attempt to refuse to use or if you are a business supply single-use plastic as part of the Plastic Free in July campaign. "Single-use" includes shopping bags, plastic cups, straws and plastic packaging, basically anything that's intended to be used once and then discarded. If refusing ALL single-use plastic sounds too daunting this time, you could try the TOP 4 challenge (plastic bags, bottles, takeaway coffee cups & straws).
Recycle Soft Platics
Recycle all soft plastics like bread bags, biscuit packets, rice and pasta Bags, newspaper wrap and plastic shopping bags at participating Coles and Woolworths, to find out more, go to http://redcycle.net.au/redcycle/how-to-redcycle
Sign up to Plastic Free in July (enter North Sydney as your suburb so we monitor how many have joined the program). You can sign up for a day, a week or the whole month. Remember, small changes can make all the difference, go small first and start with the plastic that you can most easily avoid and use the most.
Do you have an idea or initiative that will help eliminate single-use plastic in North Sydney? Contact Council to discuss your idea as we are able to provide on-going support that includes financial contributions for equipment, promotion and other associated costs for local led projects with strong environmental outcomes! No project is too big or small if it helps reduce single-use plastic in North Sydney and we would love to hear from you.
North Sydney Businesses
North Sydney businesses can join the Plastic Free July campaign by contacting Better Business Partnerships and registering to receive face to face support from a dedicated North Sydney business officer, a sample pack with plastic free alternatives for you to try, along with a promotional pack indicating your business is part of the Plastic Free July campaign in our area.
Download the Plastic Free Business Kit to find out about all the ways you can reduce plastic in your business and also save money and improve your business's sustainability practices.
Plastic free Business Kit - Retail and Food (994KB)
Plastic free Business Kit - Offices (2MB)
My plastic free life blog has exactly 100 simple, easy and inspirational ideas to help you start the journey to becoming ‘single-use’ plastic free.
You are certainly not alone in the war against single-use plastic. Click on the web link below to learn about what others are doing and additional resources, ideas, short videos, blogs and information on giving up plastic for good!
Call 9936 8100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your single-use plastic free idea or tell us what you are already doing so we can let everyone else know.