About this guide
Remember to do what you can, where you can. Doing good isn't a competition, and everyone can make a difference.
Remind yourself why you started, change a few habits and watch your lifestyle transform into one that's a little kinder on our planet.
Consider how you can take this further and encourage others to join the movement.
5 reasons to decline single-use plastics
- It’s made from fossil fuels, using energy and water to produce heat.
- It’ll still be here in hundreds of years (only a small percentage is recycled).
- It pollutes our waterways and oceans.
- It kills wildlife.
- It enters the food chain.
5 easy things you can do
- Decline plastic bags and bring your own reusable shopping bags.
- Skip bottled water and carbonated beverages and bring a reusable water bottle.
- Take a reusable cup for coffee and find a local café with discounts for BYO cups.
- Say no to plastic straws, lids and cutlery – choose a paper straw and keep reusable cutlery in your bag.
- Bring your lunch in reusable containers or cloth bags.
5 things you can do to go further
- Become a planner. Single use plastic is convenient and hard to avoid if you haven’t planned how to do it, whether this is having reusable shopping bags in your car, buying in bulk to reduce packaging or taking your reusable cup, straw and cutlery out with you.
- Try to avoid eating take away. Taking the time to eat at your favourite restaurant is not just a great social opportunity, it also saves on the plastic containers. If you can’t skip take away, see if you can take your own reusable containers.
- If you buy goods locally at markets sometimes vendors will accept their containers back and will often give you a discount. Ask your local beekeeper, jam or candle maker.
- Pick up 5 pieces of waste when you are out and about, and reduce the amount of plastics entering our waterways and oceans or even join a Trash Mob or other organised event.
- Get involved – join the Challenge Plastic Free July or Take 3 for the Sea or the National Geographic Plastic pledge.
5 things you can do to encourage others to join in
- Encourage your family and friends to get involved. Share what you’ve learned about reducing single-use plastics and encourage them to join with you.
- Encourage your workplace, school or group to get involved – you could hold an art exhibition of objects made from recycled materials, or do local clean ups or hold a community event.
- Encourage your local café or favourite restaurant to provide a discount for those bringing recyclable cups and containers.
- Promote recycling at work or in your school by setting up or requesting recycling bins for organic (kitchen) waste, glass, paper, plastics, e-waste including batteries and phones.
- Share your achievements and challenges on social media with the hashtags #PlasticFreeJuly #ChooseToRefuse #PlasticFree #SayNoToPlastic #BeatPlasticPolution #Rethink.
Energy.gov.au Information on saving energy and living more sustainably
National Waste Policy Australian Government
Planet Ark Find local options to recycle various materials
Responsible cafes Find the closest cafes that offer discounts for BYO cups
Plastic Free July Take the challenge to go plastic free for a week or longer
Take 3 for the Sea Learn about removing plastics from the ocean