1.6 million Plastic Takeaway Items Removed from One Aussie Town

Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - January 2019


In November, our community engagement program, Plastic Free Noosa, proudly announced 1.6million pieces of plastic takeaway items had been successfully diverted from potentially entering the natural environment in the first nine months of operation (February to October 2018)

Developed as a business engagement program, BA's Plastic Free Places initiatives work directly with business to encourage and support the switch away from single-use plastic. Plastic Free Noosa started by targeted Noosa’s food retail, market and events sectors with the focus aimed at avoidance or switching to reusable or 100% compostable products.
And in the first nine months of operation (February to October 2018), the program recruited 141 members with 40 earning 'Plastic-Free Champion' status having eliminated all six items of single-use plastic - water bottles, coffee cups/lids, straws, plastic foodware, takeaway containers and plastic bags.
Data was taken only from the 40 'Plastic Free Champions' who had eliminated all six items, and this year's Noosa Triathlon. This figure is therefore very conservative but enough to prove the concept is a successful one.
Now the results are in and these figures indicate the program works and importantly, the hospitality and event sectors are largely enthusiastic about reducing their single-use plastics.


Item Number of single use plastic items avoided or replaced with reusable or compostable alternatives
Plastic Straws 392,937
Coffee cups/lids 221,740
Coffee cups without lids  7,478
Cutlery 37,157
Takeaway Containers  19,045
Assorted Food Ware-cups/plates/stirrers  562,937
Plastic Water Bottles  5,453
Noosa Triathlon removed all plastic cups for competitors and replaced with compostable cups 180,000
TOTAL  1,426,747
Note: plastic bags were not included due to the introduction of the bag ban.
Boomerang Alliance will aim to scale up the Plastic Free Places program in 2019, to expand our reach across Australia, but rolling out the initiative is not as simple as just providing information and presuming our target sectors will make the switch on their own. It takes a concerted effort to engage and simplify the process, so we have employed coordinators to run the program on the ground. Building partnerships with local councils, businesses, product suppliers, commercial composters, waste transport operators and community groups are also essential.  It's a costly exercise but with the figures coming out of Noosa, demonstrate that the effort is definitely worth it. 
The program makes it easier for governments to do the right thing and introduce plastic reduction policies when communities are achieving and demanding change.
At the start of 2019, Boomerang Alliance will have 3 plastic free community programs operating in Noosa (Qld), Byron (NSW) and Bassendean (WA). All three are fully operated by Boomerang Alliance and receive funding support from either local or state government. Noosa also receives funding support from local partners. 
Could your area be the next Plastic Free Place?  For more information on how to bring Boomerang Alliance to your community, give us a call (02 9280 2130) or drop us an email ([email protected]) and let's get the conversation started.  

Back to Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - January 2019