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Locals Making Plastic-free Their Business

By Nicola Saltman - Sustainable Communities, Waverley Council on July 6, 2018 in Other

Better call SoL.

Kicking the plastic habit is not only giving our planet a break, it’s making good business sense. To celebrate Plastic Free July, meet the entrepreneurs and business folk who are innovating, designing and educating in our local patch to help create a plastic-free world for us all.

Revolutionising the reusable cup
Eighteen months ago, 24 year-old Rebecca Veksler was bedridden due to a debilitating illness. Driven by a passion to do something positive for the environment and her health, SoL Cups was born when she designed a reusable hand-blown glass and silicon cup aimed at helping to reduce plastic production.
“The fact is, it’s all well and good for us and consumers to use reusable items, but they still have a life span. We need to consider the end life; where will it end up?” she explained.
With products now distributed worldwide, she remains grounded and healthy.
“It’s very much a family business, it has a lot of love behind it.”

Pies ‘sans’ plastic
Shocked by the suffocating state of our oceans due to plastic, Angie Stevenson of Funky Pies, Bondi, removed all plastic drink bottles from her café, even while it meant changing drink suppliers.
“I am worried about the state of the earth when my 9 year-old is an adult,” she said.
The café also only offers corn starch cutlery, sugarcane pulp takeaway containers, recycled cardboard boxes, plant-based packaging for wholesale pies and paper straws.
“Customers don’t even know they are missing plastic!”

Surf’s up on sustainable fashion
Self-proclaimed ‘surfing rebels’ and ocean lovers Amy Lynch and Annie Pryor are putting their passion into giving back through their recycled fashion label Bondi Bandits. Their unisex sustainable kids’ rashies are made from discarded and recycled fishing nets, and swim bags are 100 per cent recyclable to combat single-use plastic bags.
“We hope to educate future generations about the importance of reducing plastic pollution in our oceans,” Lynch said.
“We believe if everyone just did one little thing the world would be a brighter place.”

Nipping bad habits
Long-time Bondi Surf Lifesaving Club members Brett Pattinson and George Sabados couldn’t help but notice the mountains of plastic water bottles being wasted at the beach each year.
Determined to change this, they launched Clean Oceans Initiative to help educate and empower thousands of young nippers and their parents by installing water refill stations and giving out steel reusable bottles and cups at surf clubs.
“We hope that through prevention via education we are turning the tide on plastics in our oceans,” said Pattinson.
Having inspired Bondi, Clovelly, Coogee, North Cronulla and Era surf clubs to move towards zero waste, they are now receiving requests for their program from local schools.

Tips for others keen to make a change
General consensus is to start small, question things, do the research, ask for help, leave perfection at the door, get a refill station and arm your staff and customers with reusable goods!

Hear from Bondi Bandits and SoL Cups at the Doing Good in the ‘Hood celebration event on Sunday, July 1 at the Bondi Pavilion. Book at goodinthehoodcelebration.eventbrite.com.au.

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