The Plastic Bag Free Hawkesbury Campaign
Council with the community’s support is launching a “Plastic Bag Free Hawkesbury” campaign which aims to reduce the amount of plastic bags used in our local area. The Hawkesbury Community and Hawkesbury City Council are concerned about single use plastic bags and their impact on our local environment, including the impact on our beautiful river and incredible wildlife.
Across Australia each year up to 6 billion plastic bags are used, that’s more than 15 million bags per day [i]. The major problem is that each year up to 80 million of these plastic bags end up as litter, entering our natural environment including our rivers and oceans, and having a devastating impact on marine life [ii]. It is predicted that by 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish (by weight) [iii].The CSIRO already report that 33% of sea turtles and 50% of seabirds have ingested plastic [iv].
Community Action- Boomerang Bags
The community and Council are committed to taking action to reduce the number of plastic bags used in our local area. Already there has been amazing community action by local residents including by Boomerang Bags, who are made up of dedicated members who create reusable bags from disused materials and then provide them to shoppers at events like the Richmond Saturday Markets. If you wish to help Boomerang Bags at one of their bag making days please search on Facebook for Boomerang Bags Hawkesbury and Boomerang Bags Kurrajong
Local Schools – Take Action
Local school children have also researched and reported on the impact on plastic bags. The Mayor of the Hawkesbury, Councillor Mary Lyons-Buckett met with students from both Windsor Public School and Kurrajong Public School who completed class projects about the problems caused by plastic bag use. Windsor Public School students wrote letters which outlined why plastic bags are such a significant problem. Kurrajong Public School students have been involved in Boomerang Bags and have also surveyed local businesses in Kurrajong urging them to no longer use plastic bags.
If your school has also taken action or worked on a class project about the impact of plastic bags please contact Council’s Waste Education Officer by email WasteEducation@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or phone (02) 4560 4566. Council would like to highlight the efforts of our local students.
- Remember to take your Reusable Shopping Bags
To reduce our impact on the environment, always remember to take your reusable shopping bags with you when you do your shopping. Remember to buy enough reusable bags for all your shopping needs, leave the bags in your car, and have different bags for meats/ frozen food, clothes and general groceries. After a week or so it will become second nature.
- Download the Plastic Bag Free Hawkesbury brochure and share with your friends
The brochure outlines why plastic bags are such a significant problem. It explains what Council and the community is aiming to achieve. It also provides examples and answers to common questions like what to do when you want to line the bin. Click here to download.
There is also The Better Bag Guide which shows what the most environmentally friendly options are compared to single use plastic bags. Click here to download.
- Plastic Bag Recycling Bins at Coles
Plastic bags can be returned to Coles to a plastic bags recycling bin. This free program is made possible through RedCycle, which has worked with Coles Supermarkets to set up collection bins in stores across most of metro-Australia. The plastic is made into furniture for schools and kindergartens among other things. For a list of locations please follow this link.
- Petition to Ban Single Use Plastic Bags
Channel Ten’s The Project has an online petition arguing for a ban on single use plastic bags in NSW, Victoria and WA. It currently has over 170,000 signatures. If you would like to sign this petition please follow this link.
- Go Plastic Free
Take the pledge to not use single use plastics. Follow this link to sign up and receive some handy tips. If the local community, with the support of Council, continues to take action to address the single use plastic bag problem then our local environment and wildlife will be the ultimate winners.
Update: Following the overwhelming support for this petition, WA and Victoria have both announced they will place a ban on single use plastic bags. NSW is now the only state or territory in Australia without any ban on plastic bags.
CSIRO - plastic on the coasts
CSIRO - marine debris
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