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  Northern Beaches BUSINESSES eager to reduce single-use plastic

   

A Northern Beaches Council ‘Plastic Free July’ survey has found more than half of local businesses would like to stop using “single-use” plastic items - with some businesses calling for an outright plastic bag ban. Plastic Free July 3D chalk art

The survey revealed that of the 87 percent of businesses currently using “single-use” plastic items, 55 percent are willing to switch to sustainable alternatives such as paper bags, paper straws or wooden cutlery. 

Plastic items, in particular plastic bags, do not readily break down in the environment, with estimates of the time it takes them to decompose ranging from 20 to 1000 years*.

While Council cannot unilaterally ‘ban’ single-use plastic items, it will be working with businesses and Council’s new Waste Minimisation Strategic Reference Group to look at the management of plastic litter and other forms of waste on the Northern Beaches.

Following the survey results and support from local businesses, Council is encouraging everyone to adopt environmentally-friendly alternatives to plastic items and help reduce the detrimental impacts of plastic litter.

As an individual, the easiest thing to do is remember to bring your own bag or bottle and to refuse unnecessary straws and coffee lids.

Local community groups such as Boomerang Bags and Plastic Free Manly are ongoing initiatives that shoppers can support, too.

Hundreds of Northern Beaches households, businesses and schools rose to the ‘Plastic Free July Challenge’ this year, taking part in a range of special events to highlight the impact of plastic litter on marine eco-systems.

Amongst the numerous events was an eye-catching “floating on a sea of plastic” 3D chalk artwork on The Corso, Manly, popular with hundreds of residents and tourists raising awareness of the impacts of plastic litter on local marine life through Instagram, Twitter and other social media platform ‘selfies’. 

Council also distributed re-useable coffee cups, bottles and “Food Huggers” to promote a plastic-free lifestyle. 

’Plastic Free Manly’ is a community-driven movement supporting individuals and businesses to go plastic free with a strong focus on eliminating plastic bags from the local environment. 

‘Boomerang Bags’ are re-useable bags produced by communities of volunteers using recycled materials.  There are currently two ‘Boomerang Bag’ communities operating in the Northern Beaches, in Avalon and Manly. 

 *Plastic bag statistic http://www.abc.net.au/science/features/bags/

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