Say goodbye to single-use plastics!

It’s time we put a stop to plastic pollution that chokes our waterways and damages wildlife. Animals can consume plastic (e.g. plastic bags and bottle tops) by mistake, confusing it with a natural food source, causing physical injury or death. Animals can also get caught in plastics that have been thrown away.  Items like fishing nets and bottle rings can be especially dangerous. As plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller peices, it can get into the food chain, which is bad for animals, and also bad for us. To top it all of, the manufacture of plastic creates greenhouse gas emissions, and requires fossil fuels. (ADD stat)

While plastic is a clever and malleable product, it really is time to give up our love affair with single-use plastics.

What do we mean by ‘single-use plastics’?

Common types of unnecessary, avoidable or replaceable single-use plastic items include: plastic bags (including those that are biodegradable and compostable), water bottles, straws, disposable containers, disposable coffee cups & lids, straws and cutlery.

New laws to ban single-use plastics

In July 2021, the Plastic Reduction Act came into force, banning  the sale and supply of single-use plastic stirrers, cutlery and polystyrene food and beverage containers.

By July 2022, the ban is expected to extend to single-use fruit and vegetable ‘barrier bags’, oxo-degradable plastic products, and single-use straws (except for those who need them.)

The new laws will also facilitate Canberra events like Enlighten, Floriade and sporting events to be plastic-free.

There is more to do!

Western Australia and Queensland are fast-tracking the ban on single-use plastic products. Sign our petition to ask the ACT Government to speed up the phase-out single-use plastics!

  • Fast track the single use plastic ban to quickly include heavy duty plastic shopping bags, fruit and vegetable barrier bags, newspaper plastic wraps, coffee cups (and lids!), and cotton buds.
  • End the sale and use of bottled water in government facilities and public events, and make it mandatory for retails outlets to install water bubblers,
  • Investigate establishing a takeaway food container scheme similar to the “Green Caffeen” returnable coffee cup scheme, or the “Responsible Cafes” initiative,
  • Expand the collection of soft plastics and work with processors to scale up recycling.

 

 

 

 

Did you know?

More than 130 million metric tonnes of single-use plastics were thrown away in 2019.

35% was burned, 31% went to landfill and 19% was dumped – on land or into our oceans and waterways? (2)

In 2019, each Australian generated around 59kg of single-use plastic waste second to Singapore? (2)

Australia generated 75.8 million tonnes of solid waste in 2018-19  – 10% more than 2 years before? (3)

References

(1) https://www.unenvironment.org/interactive/beat-plastic-pollution/

(2) Andrew Macintosh, Amelia Simpson and Teresa Neeman (2018) Regulating Plastic Shopping Bags in the Australian Capital Territory: Plastic Shopping Bags Ban Act 2010 Options Analysis, Australian National University, Canberra, p 48

(3) Andrew Macintosh, Amelia Simpson and Teresa Neeman (2018) Regulating Plastic Shopping Bags in the Australian Capital Territory: Plastic Shopping Bags Ban Act 2010 Options Analysis, Australian National University, Canberra, p 44.