Plastic Free July tips and tricks to eliminate waste

Plastic Free July is an initiative that encourages people to be more aware of and limit their plastic use and it’s only a few days away.

With plastic seemingly everywhere you look and with everything you buy, figuring out where to start can be overwhelming.  

Alice Kent, the Wagga City Council waste education and communications officer, provides a list of five simple ways you can slash down the plastic. 

1. Take your own bag when you shop

Don’t limit this to just your supermarket shopping, you can use it for any kind. 

There’s a ban on the lightweight plastics, but there’s still the heavy-duty plastics so avoid them completely. Reuse your own bag over and over again.

PRO TIP: Get a bag that you can wash, I have one that I got about three years ago and every few weeks I throw it into the wash. 

2. Buy a reusable coffee cup 

It’s a really simple one and there are lots of cafes that will give you a discount if you bring one in.

It’s becoming more frequent to see people out and about with their reusable cups, so hopefully that’s one that becomes more frequent. 

3. Avoid bottled water

This is a really reasonable one, get a reusable bottle. 

Take it around with you, our water is pretty much free from the tap and it’s much cheaper than buying a bottled water.

4. Avoid straws

This is one that is getting a bit of publicity at the moment, with ‘straws suck’.

You don’t need them at home and the challenge (which I am trying to work on) is when you’re out and requesting a drink without a straw. 

This is one I do find hard, because you have to be quick to say it. Try to remember the mantra of ordering your drink and then saying ‘no straw thanks’. 

5. Pack your own cutlery

Plastic cutlery can’t be recycled through our kerbside recycling system, they go into landfill. 

They’re things that we are only using for a few moments and then tossing them. I went to the op-shop and bought a knife, spoon and fork. 

They sit in my car, so instead of needing takeaway cutlery I use them, then just make sure I wash them up and put them in my car.