Globally 95% of plastic packaging is used once and then discarded, often as litter. Researchers estimate that if this trend continues there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean (by weight) by 2050.
In Australia, most state governments are moving to reduce plastic litter through the introduction of container deposit schemes and bans on plastic bags. These are recognised as the first steps in addressing plastic pollution of our environment.
The next step is to address the many other forms of disposable plastics, like coffee cups, polystyrene containers, straws, takeaway containers and a whole raft of other single-use items.
EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES TO MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE
Many individuals, governments and businesses have become aware of the plastic pollution problem and are changing habits and practices. However, what we lack is a whole community taking control of its plastic footprint, with a focus on long lasting solutions, and showing other communities how this can be achieved.
We know that communities coming together is a powerful way to instigate wide scale change - beginning with the individual, extending to the community and then to our politicians.
Our ‘Communities Taking Control’ campaign is the next step to achieving this wide scale change. Our goal is to produce a ‘how to’ guide that can be rolled out to any community looking to comprehensively reduce its plastic footprint. To help provide insight into how this can be achieved, we have initiated two pilot communities – Noosa in Queensland, and Wollongong in NSW.
PLASTIC FREE COMMUNITY PILOTS IN NOOSA AND WOLLONGONG
‘Plastic Free Noosa’ and ‘Plastic Free Wollongong’ are community-based projects with an aspirational goal to reduce the use of identified single use plastic packaging (by 50%) by November 2018. They are 'whole of community plans' and involve local council, businesses (specifically hospitality/retailers), media, community organisations, schools, event organisers and active individuals all working together to achieve the goal.
The aim in the first year (2017/2018) is for:
- the retail (and hospitality) sector to agree to supply preferred products (alternatives to single use plastics) to the public,
- schools and event organisers to hold plastic-free events and
- individuals to take up the plastic free challenge
Learn more about our pilot communities below:
PLASTIC FREE PLACES
Are you a community also looking to reduce your plastic footprint? If so, we'd love to hear from you! We're starting up a network of ‘Plastic Free Places’ - if you'd like to be involved, or simply want some more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is an an overview of our campaign to help get you started: