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  • Writer's pictureMark Oliver

Tips To Reduce Your Plastic Waste

We all know and have heard that we should stop using so much plastic but when everything in a supermarket is wrapped in the stuff what can we do?

On average, Australians use 130 kg of plastic per person each year. Only 9% of that's recycled. More frightening still, up to 130,000 tonnes of plastic will find its way into our waterways and into the ocean. While we all sit back and wait for manufactures to change how they package their products we are all playing our part and contributing to the problem. The saying "Control what you can, influence what you can't" has never been more true. We might not individually be able to force companies to change but if our actions speak louder than our words they will have to adapt to keep up with market trends.

So how can we make a positive impact without it becoming a full time job?

In the Supermarket

Plastic packaging in the supermarkets is everywhere, from fresh fruit on styrofoam trays wrapped in cling wrap, plastic squeeze bottles or over-packaged toothpaste. Some simple tips can be:

  • Choose the unwrapped produce where you can and don't use the plastic bags on offer

  • Bring your own veggie and shopping bags from home

  • Choose bulk products where possible

  • Choose glass bottles or buy containers only where they are made from recycled plastic

In Cafe's and Bars

Australians use 1 billion “disposable” coffee cups a year and millions of straws that aren't or can't be recycled. Things you can do:

  • Remember to bring your own reusable cup (some cafes also offer discounts for using your own cup)

  • Say no to plastic straws. Either bring your own metal straw or just drink from the bottle or glass

  • Say no to single use plastic cutlery such as knives, forks, spoons and plates


A key phrase to remember before it goes in the bin is 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle'. If you can Reduce the amount of plastic in the first case then this is always the best case. If you have to buy something plastic can you Reuse it more than once? If you no longer need it then make sure it ends up in a Recycle bin.

To tips:

  • Check for the recycling symbol on all plastics you purchase and don’t buy the product if there isn’t one

  • Take plastic bottles back to redeem and earn some money at the same time. There are numerous locations throughout South East Queensland

  • Take your single or broken plastic bags back the supermarkets, they generally have a specialist recycling bin for these

We can't always help the amount of plastic we accumulate but with some simple and small changes, you can make a big difference!

We hope you found some inspiration in this Blog and would love to hear how and what changes you've made in the comments below.

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