Living Plastic Free

Did you know?

  • Australians use four billion plastic bags annually, which means over 10 million new bags are used every day.
  • We each use around 200 plastic bags a year. (www.planetark.org)

Every time you shop, you buy waste as well. Ideally waste should be biodegradable, compostable or recyclable. Unfortunately this is not always the case for many products, particularly those made out of plastic.

There are many reasons why you may choose to reduce the amount of plastic you buy. These include environmental, health and ethical concerns.

Although plastic has become a very common product, particularly for packaging, reducing the amount of plastic you purchase does not need to be as difficult as it sounds.

Here are a few simple steps to get you started:

Buy in bulk and choose products with little or no packaging

Look for places where you can buy fruit, vegetables and other products in bulk, such as farmers markets or some supermarket products.

Many staples such as rice, flour and pasta can be sourced straight from bulk bins – remember to take your own reusable bags or use paper bags if available!

In times when it is impossible to avoid packaging, look for products that are packaged in recycled or recyclable material.

For more information about farmers markets in Perth check out the Australian Farmers' Markets Association

Carry reusable shopping bags

Reusable bags now come in many shapes, colours and sizes as more people are refusing plastic bags when shopping. Keep a few in your car, handbag, backpack or briefcase.

Don’t buy bottled water

  • It takes about 250ml of oil to make one litre of bottled water.
  • 90% of the cost of a plastic water bottle is in the  manufacture of the bottle, lid and label.

Do the maths:

  • Tap water costs around one cent per litre
  • Bottled water costs around $2.53 per litre

Australians have clean potable drinking water on tap. There is no evidence that bottled water is more "pure" than tap water.

When you are on the go, carry a refillable stainless steel bottle or travel mug.

If water quality is a concern for you, invest in a home water filtration system.

For further information view the five minute 'The Story of Bottled Water' clip here.

Compost or worm farm organic food waste

Home composting and worm farming your food scraps is a fantastic way to reduce the amount of waste you produce on a daily basis while returning the energy that went into preparing your food to the earth. Further, composting has several environmental benefits, including reducing organics going to landfill, greenhouse gas reduction and soil enrichment.

Try wrapping your waste in newspaper

Rather than using plastic bin liners, newspaper placed in the bottom of your bin is a great, biodegradable alternative. As organics decompose, newspaper is very effective at absorbing liquids and associated odours. Meaning your bin may actually smell better than it does with plastic liners, plus you won’t be sending plastic to landfill!

Reduce and reuse

When we reduce the amount  of plastics we use, we also reduce the demand for products that are made of plastic. Further, buying products that are of a higher quality and that last longer reduces the need for replacement. Lastly, when you can’t refuse plastic, learn to reuse! Shopping bags, food containers and bottles can be put to many alternative uses.  And some companies will recycle a range of plastics.

Why not get involved in Plastic Free July?

Plastic Free July is an opportunity to make a commitment to live plastic free for a day, a week or a month in July.

For more information and to sign up to the challenge click here.