Single-use Plastics

The Shire is committed to phasing out single-use plastics, there are better choices!  

On 25 August 2020, Council adopted the Single-use plastic Policy.
Download: Single-use Plastic Policy(PDF, 361KB) and Single-use Plastics Guidelines(PDF, 1MB)  

The problem with single-use plastics

The majority of single-use plastics are only used once or for a limited time, and then thrown away. But there is no away; they can end up in landfill where the materials, water and energy used to make the plastic product is loss. Even worse, littered plastic adds to national and global plastic pollution.

  • Globally, we create 300 million tonnes of plastic waste every year UN Environment
  • Annually, 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans UN Environment
  • Plastic pollution can entangle animals
  • Marine animals can confuse plastics for food           
  • Three quarters of litter along the Australian coast is plastics, most is from Australian sources. CSIRO

Steps to removing single-use plastics

 Download: Single-use Plastics Guidelines(PDF, 1MB)

1: Reduce

At the store:

  • Bring your bag. A reusable bag needs to be used at least 50 times to see the environmental benefits (ABC news).
  • BYO coffee cup, straws and take-away containers   
  • Support local eateries that accept BYO
  • Say no to cutlery when ordering take-away for home
  • No more samples. Individually wrapped items create extra waste and is often packaged in plastic
  • Choose unwrapped and plastic free at the supermarket where possible
  • No more soy sauce fishes! Use the sauce dispenser at the store

At home:

  • Switch tea bags for tea leaves
  • No more cling wrap, invest in some containers or make your own bees wax wraps  
  • Blow bubbles, not balloons. Balloon litter can be found thousands of kms away from its source and is harmful to marine animals such as sea birds
  • Switch out glitter. Glitter is made of thousands of tiny pieces of plastic which contributed to micro-plastic pollution. Choose natural alternatives like paper confetti.

At the park or beach:

  • Preplan your meals and store them in reusable containers
  • Bring your washable cutlery and crockery
  • Tap is best, bring your own water bottle. Plastic bottles are one of the commonly found littered items

2: Choose recycled packaging

Select products with packaging made from recycled material or natural fibres that would have otherwise gone to waste (e.g. sugarcane offcuts) 

3. Prioritise home compostable over industrial compostable

Industrial compostable material only biodegrades in commercial composting facilities. At present, there are no or few commercial composters that accept industrially compostable products which means they still end up in landfill.

4. Bin it

Littered compostable products acts the same as plastics in the environment, where they break up into smaller and smaller pieces. Use the home compost bin if possible, or put it in the rubbish bin.

  • Join your local Beach Patrol clean-up group
  • Pick up litter when you are out and about, Take 3 for the Sea     

 

Home compostable or Industrial Compostable

Certified home compostable products have been tested and will biodegrade in the garden without harming the microbes.

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Certified industrial compostable products require specific conditions to biodegrade (consistently high temperatures in a set amount of time). They will not biodegrade in the home compost. 

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