Recycling is great, but cutting out single-use plastics altogether is even better. With plastic-free July, you can take the pledge to give up using plastic for the month. This great initiative, led by the Plastic Free Foundation, is picking up momentum and each year more and more people are adopting plastic-free habits.
At Randwick City Council, we’ve committed to cutting out all single-use plastics at events both internally and externally. And our Strategic Waste team works hard to offer as many recycling opportunities as possible – both with our regular waste collection services and through the services offered at our recycling centre.
Additionally, our Sustainability team works hard to help our community learn ways they can reduce their footprint and live more sustainably. If you haven’t already, check out some of the information they have available here about how you can do more.
Even though we’re more than half way through July, it’s never too late to make more sustainable decisions. Below are nine ways you can reduce your use of plastic in everyday life. We start off simple – with some easy changes that anyone (and everyone) should make! But as we move on, the suggestions require a little more effort. Give it a go! See if you can push the boundaries and take on the challenge to reduce your plastic use for July. (And beyond!)
- Use a keep cup. This is an easy one – for any coffee lover who isn’t already carrying a keep cup in their bag, invest in a keep cup today. Disposable coffee cups have a plastic lining that makes them difficult to recycle. Do your coffee habit and the planet a favour!
- BYO bag. Most supermarkets have stopped giving out free plastic bags, so it’s worthwhile carrying your own. But it’s not just supermarkets – carrying a soft reusable bag on you at all times, ensures you can say no to bags wherever you shop. At Council, we’re currently in the process of getting 10,000 of our street banners recycled into banner bags that we’ll be distributing at various Council events. Look out for them at the Eco Living Expo.
- Pick your veg wisely. It’s no good saying no to a plastic bag at checkout if all of your fruit and veg are covered in plastic. Avoid using the soft plastic bags given out at grocery stores and choose vegies that aren’t wrapped in plastic. You can buy reusable bags for this or just toss them straight into your basket.
- Don’t eat or drink with plastic. Eating out or grabbing a takeaway meal? Carry your own stainless steel cutlery so you can say no to plastic knives, forks and spoons. The same goes for straws – carry your own and you'll never have to use a plastic straw again.
- Ditch the plastic wrap. If you’re an avid user of Glad or cling film, this can be a tough one to give up. But once you break the habit, it’ll be a breeze. There are lots of products available nowadays to replace cling wrap over a bowl of leftovers, and they’re great. But if you’ve got reusable Tupperware or even better, glass Pyrex containers with lids, they’re a great way to store leftovers. As for sandwiches in lunchboxes, reusable plastic containers work well, or reusable beeswax food wrap can be a good option, too.
- Buy from the butcher. When you buy your meat directly from a butcher, it’s wrapped in paper, not plastic. It might mean a two-stop shop, but stopping at the butcher for bacon, ham slices, meat and chicken means you’ll avoid receiving any plastic that this meat is often wrapped in from other stores.
- Save your softies. If you do happen to slip up and use some soft plastic from time to time, be sure to save it. Soft plastics (bread wrapping, cling film, confectionery wrapping, etc.), can all be recycled at the Randwick Recycling Centre.
- Get a makeover in the bathroom. Beauty products and other items from the pharmacy often come in plastic containers or wrapping. It can require a bit of googling, but there are plenty of cosmetic companies out there that are thinking more sustainably with their packaging. From shampoo bars and conditioning bars (similar to soap bars, but for your hair) to bamboo toothbrushes and other sustainable ways to re-think beauty, it’s worth looking into what you can do to use less plastic in the bathroom.
- Make your own. When it comes to buying snacks – cookies, cakes, chips – they’re almost always wrapped in plastic. Try making your own – yes it’s more time consuming – but the end result will be a homemade snack with no preservatives that costs less and saves the planet. Talk about a win-win-win.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to live sustainably, save the date for our Eco Living Expo, which will take place Sunday 22 September 2019 from 10am – 4pm at the Randwick Community Centre.Back to top