News Satire People Food Other

Locals Kicking The Plastic Habit

By Nicola Saltman (Waverley Enviro Officer) on October 21, 2015 in Other

Some addictions seem hard to break, like plastic. It’s all around us – in shopping bags, bottles, food packaging, furniture, nappies, containers, appliances, and even our clothing and disposable coffee cups.

Scarily, this 100-year-old invention is increasingly playing havoc with nature. It’s a sobering fact that in every square kilometre of ocean there are more than 18,000 pieces of plastic, harming sea turtles, fish and other poor unsuspecting marine life.

It’s no wonder locals are ditching plastic in force. Even businesses are showing how easy it is. Second-hand bookshop and café Gertrude & Alice, for example, doesn’t use plastic bags, and even has a reusable bag library for its customers. Plus they carry out staff training that teaches why this is so important.

Bondi bakery Organic Republic has banned using disposable plastics and plastic bags, and like a number of other cafes, it offers discounts to punters who bring their own coffee cup.

Junia Kerr of Sage Beauty in North Bondi doesn’t use plastic packaging, and considers the sustainability of her retail products, including their recyclability.

While these and other local business champions are doing their bit, a group of around ten passionate and committed folks are planning to take ‘plastic free’ to the next level. Their soon-to-be-launched initiative – an exciting collaborative project between community members, local sustainability experts, not-for-profits and Waverley Council – is hoping to curb Bondi’s addiction to plastic bags with smart, simple and creative solutions.

An idea born from community forums, research and business brainstorms, the campaign for a plastic-free Bondi is set to kick off at Bondi Farmers’ Markets in October with reusable tote libraries.

Ross Alexander, owner of Bondi Markets, and his team are excited to provide alternatives to plastic bags for customers and stallholders with three new ‘bag libraries’. If successful, similar libraries will be placed in other retail areas in Bondi.

Community members are volunteering their time and skills, including Jonas Allen and Steve Muller from creative agency Bondi Advertising, who are working their magic on branding and communications to help spread the word.

“I love living in Bondi and getting involved with a campaign to educate and encourage less plastic waste in the community,” Jonas said.

Other local residents such as Sam Coffey and artists including Brett Chan, Nick Hernandez and Luca Ionescu are also dedicating their creative juices to the project, and well-known photographer Eugene Tan (of Aquabumps fame) has kindly donated an image for the first run of tote bags.

Waverley Council is approaching interested artists to be part of subsequent runs, and they are seeking sponsorship from interested local businesses.

To find out more about this great project, get along to a pop-up stall at Bondi Farmers Markets each Saturday in September and October from 9am to 1pm, or join in the launch on Saturday, October 17. It’s set to be a whole lot of plastic-free fun.

For more info or to register interest in sponsorship or involvement, email