1.4 million plastic items removed - Plastic Free Noosa

Plastic Free Noosa Removes 1.4 million Plastic Takeaway Items

It's official!  Boomerang Alliance's Plastic Free Noosa program has successfully eliminated more than 1.4 million items of single-use takeaway plastic from the Queensland resort town of Noosa, since the beginning of 2018, preventing a significant volume of problem plastics from ending up in landfill or as marine pollution.  


Plastic Free Noosa, part of the national Communities Taking Control program developed by the Boomerang Alliance, promotes a community-led switch away from single use, takeaway plastics.  The program directly engages with cafés, food outlets, events and markets, assisting them to reduce plastics through avoiding their use altogether or by substituting with reusable or 100% compostable alternatives.

 “The key to our success has been the engagement with our 141-member cafés, restaurants, market and event members,” said Kellie Lindsay, Program Manager – Plastic Free Noosa. “We work directly with businesses, as well as Council, suppliers, manufacturers, composters and waste operators to deliver real solutions to those businesses.

“It isn’t enough to just ask them to remove plastic,” Ms Lindsay added, “What they change to, whether it represents a viable business model for them, where they source the alternatives and where that product ends up are important as well. We address all these aspects.  We do a lot of behind-the-scenes work to make it easy for businesses and events to make the switch.  Plastic Free Noosa shows that by working together, a community can change its plastic habits.” 

To become a member, cafés need to agree to reduce 6 key plastic items - water bottles, bags, straws, foodware (cups, cutlery, plates and bowls) takeaway containers and coffee cups/lids.

When members eliminate all of these they become Plastic Free Champions and are promoted as such in the community. The reported data is only an initial assessment, taken from the 41 Champions after a verification process with their suppliers; it does not include data from our 100 other members, so the figures are still conservative.

“We have found that all our members are keen to do the right thing and reduce plastics,” Jayne Paramor, Deputy Director of Boomerang Alliance, explained today. “We provide the information and procurement advice to make the switch easier and the results clearly speak for themselves – we are now keen to expand our program to other communities around the country.”

“We are grateful that major local events such as the Noosa Food and Wine Festival and the Noosa Triathlon took up the plastic free challenge with astonishing results,” Ms Paramor added.  “The Food and Wine Festival diverted 5.3 tonnes of compostable material away from landfill this year and the triathlon replaced 180,000 plastic cups used by competitors with compostable ones. We even assisted in setting up a collection service to make sure the cups were composted.”

“Our program is making having a significant impact on reducing away-from-home plastic use,” Ms Lindsay concluded.  “It shows that a community working together can make a big difference and, with the right mix of government policy and investment support, the program could be fast-tracked right across Australia.”


Full Details of Plastic Reductions achieved in Noosa are outlined below:

Plastic Free Noosa LogoPlastic Free Noosa is a partnership between Boomerang Alliance, Noosa Tourism, Noosa Council, Noosa Chamber of Commerce and local community organisations including Surfrider Foundation-Sunshine Coast, Noosa Community Biosphere Association Inc., Boomerang Bags, Sunshine Coast Environment Council, Coastcare and Sunshine Coast Environment Educators’ Alliance. It receives funding from the Queensland Government

Plastic Free Noosa Single Use Plastic Reduction - 1 February to 5 November 2018

More than 1 .4 million single use plastic items eliminated from use:


Number of single use plastic items avoided or replaced with reusable or compostable alternatives

Plastic Straws


Coffee cups/lids


Coffee cups without lids




Takeaway Containers


Assorted Food Ware-cups/plates/stirrers


Plastic Water Bottles


Noosa Triathlon removed all plastic cups for competitors and replaced with compostable cups