Plastic Free North Sydney

The aim is to eliminate all single-use plastic in North Sydney.

Council encourages partnerships with local residents, businesses and community organisations to raise awareness and reduce the use of single-use plastic. 

We want to help everyone become single-use plastic-free - to help preserve our environment and avoid waste and litter in our area.

Check our earlier newsletter for a few ideas.


Why Plastic?

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 stats:

  • Globally, we now use a million plastic bags a minute.
  • 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.

What You Can Do

Every day we encounter single-use plastic: bags, water bottles, straws, food packaging & takeaway coffee cups. We can all take steps to avoid plastic becoming a problem. Remember your shopping bags and water bottles and refuse to use overpackaged products. You can also attend our plastic free events, workshops or seminars, sign up to Plastic Free July campaign, create your own community project and remember to support North Sydney businesses that are using plastic free alternatives.


We run lots of green events that have a plastic free focus. Check in throughout the year to find a workshop or event that you might be interested in such as natural skincare or living without plastic. Or subscribe to our Green Events monthly newsletter to be notified when our workshops become available.

Community Project

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 ongoing support that includes financial contributions for equipment, promotion and other associated costs for local 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.

Recycle Soft Plastics

Avoidance is best. But now you can also recycle soft plastics like bread bags, biscuit packets, rice and pasta bags, newspaper wrap and plastic shopping bags at participating Coles and Woolworths stores as well as at Council Chambers (200 Miller Street) to find out more, go to

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)

Plastic Free July

The challenge is quite simple: do your best to refuse to use, or, if you are a business, refuse to supply single-use plastic.

The Plastic Free in July campaign defines single-use plastic as basically anything intended to be used once and then discarded. If refusing ALL single-use plastic sounds too daunting, just try the TOP 4 challenge (plastic bags, bottles, takeaway coffee cups & straws).

Sign up to Plastic Free in July. You can sign up for a day, a week, the month. Remember, you can start small first - with the plastic that you can most easily avoid.


Useful Links

This blog has 100 simple, easy inspirational ideas to help you start the journey to becoming single-use plastic-free:

You are certainly not alone on this journey, you can learn from these additional resources, ideas, short videos, blogs and information on giving up plastic for good!



Call us on 9936 8100 or email to discuss your single-use plastic free idea or tell us what you are already doing so we can let everyone else know.