Plastic has transformed our everyday lives. But the volume of plastic, and its long lifespan, makes it one of our biggest waste problems. We all have a role to play in tackling our plastics problem and the National Plastics Plan sets out how we can do that.
As a consumer, you can make a big impact by making small changes to how you use plastic.
Prevent – Stop plastic at its source
We need to act now to stop using unnecessary single-use and problematic plastics. The simplest way to reduce plastic waste is to avoid unnecessary and single-use plastics, support businesses who are reducing plastic waste and re-use existing plastic.
- Say no to disposable plastic cutlery, plastic straws and other single-use plastics.
- Avoid plastics that cannot be recycled if other alternatives exist.
- Avoid products with excess or unnecessary plastic packaging.
- Adopt reusable items such as water bottles, shopping bags, keep cups and travel cutlery.
Recycle – Take responsibility for your plastics
Most of us can do more to recycle.
Look for the Australian Recycling Label (ARL) on your product. It tells you which parts of packaging can and can’t be recycled.
Recycle soft plastics like shopping, bread, pasta and confectionary bags through the REDcycle program. You can find the bins at the front of Coles and Woolworths stores.
Look for container deposit schemes where you will be paid money for returning used containers. These schemes help to keep plastic out of landfill.
Be a part of the solution
The National Plastics Plan has initiatives that consumers can support. To find out more about these visit www.environment.gov.au/protection/waste/plastics-and-packaging.