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By Dan Hutton on July 14, 2017 in

Craig Reucassel, photographed by Keisha Reucassel

What’s the issue?

It’s not surprising that plastic pollution has been receiving much deserved public attention lately, from ABC’s Craig Reucassel declaring War on Waste, to Channel Ten’s The Project’s ‘Ban the Bag’ petition. The pressure is mounting for business, government, and the public to do more in the battle against ‘fast plastic.’

‘Fast plastic’ refers to single use items used for a few minutes that last permanently in our environment. This plastic will outlive us and outswim us. Unfortunately it’s everywhere you go, and we use it on autopilot without thinking what happens to it. Here are some fast facts:
– Almost 90 per cent of marine debris found on Sydney’s beaches is plastic (e.g. bottles, caps, straws).

– Australians buy 600 million litres of bottled water a year.
– We use 10 million plastic bags a day.
– 1 billion coffee cups are littered and landfilled every year.
So with Plastic Free July happening around the world this month, it’s never been a better time to break our ‘fast plastic’ habits for the greater good of our hood.

Local plastic-free businesses

There are many local businesses helping to turn the tide on this epidemic. Roomie Café, for example, offers a 50-cent discount for bringing your own coffee cup and they’ve excluded plastic from their business operations.

“All of our bags, straws, and trays are paper, and the cutlery is bamboo,” said café owner Eva. “We don’t have plastic milk bottles, all milk is from the tap that is connected to a 10-litre bag.”

The owner of Scoop’s, an unpackaged wholefoods store in Bondi, has a message to businesses and consumers addicted to plastic.

“Take a daily note of how much single use plastic you use every day, add it all up, then think about it lasting in landfill or the ocean forever,” she said.

Now opening their fourth store they are clearly seeing the benefits of their approach. “Our customers are finding this approach to shopping refreshing and fun.”

What can you do?
To start your plastic free journey, we suggest to start with the BIG 4 plastic polluters:
1. Plastic bags – Take your reusable bags grocery shopping and say no to plastic bags when offered. Ask your local shop owner to go plastic bag free and add your voice to the #banthebag campaign online.
2. Plastic bottles – swap for reusable ones.
3. Takeaway coffee cups – BYO reusable coffee cup. Contrary to popular belief, they are rarely recycled. You may even score a discount from local cafes.
4. Straws – Refuse them when offered.

You can also join the great community events happening this month to learn more including a plastic-free DIY skin care alternatives seminar on June 27, a film screening and panel discussion on July 2, a Bondi Beach clean-up on July 9, and a market pop-up stall on July 29.
It’s all brought to you by your Plastic Free July event partners Blue Bondi Green, Happy Fish, Plastic Free Bronte, Responsible Runners, Seaside Scavenge, Tangaroa Blue, Take3, Transition Bondi, Underwater Research Group, and Waverley Council.

Head to for details and to book.