It Is Plastic Free July – a month where we can focus on reducing the impact of single use plastics in our life and environment. A few small changes can make a difference – here is how.
Single use Coffee Cups – Choose to refuse single-use takeaway cups
You can easily avoid takeaway coffee cups by bringing along your own reusable alternative. There are many reusable coffee cups available on the market. Keep it in your bag or on your desk at work or wherever you’ll remember to use it – and keep it clean.
If you forget your reusable alternative and don’t have time to dine-in, consider going without. It might not be easy, but will probably mean you never forget again!
Coffee cups are not recyclable in most locations. Even ‘compostable’ cups are rarely composted as they require very specific facilities and conditions.
Single use shopping bags – Choose to refuse single-use shopping bags – also remember that from 1 November there will be a ban on the light weight bags in Victoria.
Reusable shopping bags are a fantastic alternative to single-use plastic bags. It’s a great idea to keep a stash of your reusable bags somewhere where you’ll remember them (ie in your car); like in the boot of your car or by your front door. You can also get into the habit of writing a reminder to yourself at the start of each grocery shopping list.
To make an even greater impact, consider making your own reusable shopping bags using repurposed fabric. Join a Boomerang Bags group in your area or set one up with some friends.
Plastic straws – Choose to refuse single-use plastic straws.
If you’re able to, request your cold drink is made without a single-use plastic straw. It’s important that you state this before your drink is made; if the straw is already in there when it’s brought to you, it’ll likely become plastic waste anyway.
For those with accessibility issues or who prefer straws, you can also bring your own sustainable alternatives. There are stainless steel, bamboo, and glass options available on the market, and even foldable reusable straws that you can easily keep in your purse or pocket.
Single use drink bottles – Choose to refuse single-use plastic drink bottles
Avoiding buying single-use plastic water bottles is as simple as carrying your own reusable alternative with you. If you do forget to bring your water bottle along with you, don’t panic. You can find a fountain, ask a cafe for a glass of water, or purchase a glass bottle of water and reuse it.
Go further with your impact by encouraging and supporting businesses to provide refillable water stations. Single use drink containers are also one of the most significant litter items that we see on road sides and given many are recyclable – it is not hard to keep it until you get home and then recycle it properly.