We might have seen the photos – sea birds completely covered in plastic bags; a turtle with a straw stuck up its nose, and the shocking photo of an Albatross mother inadvertently feeding dozens of small bits of plastic to its chick, which eventually died.
Ocean plastic is estimated to kill millions of marine animals every year. We can all do something to reduce plastic use and good initiatives are underway in Gloucester.
We can all do something to reduce plastic use and good initiatives are underway in Gloucester.Hilary Kite
Supermarkets have stopped giving out single-use plastic bags and most shops in our main street offer paper bags to carry out your purchases.
- The plastic bags you do accumulate can be recycled – The REDcycle Program is a recovery initiative for post-consumer soft plastic. RED Group has teamed up with Woolworths in Glloucester and some Coles stores in Taree and Wingham and Woolworths Taree to make it easy for you to keep your plastic bags and soft plastic packaging out of landfill.
- Skip straws – Cafes and pubs are being encouraged to offer paper straws instead of plastic. Visit the coffee shops who give a discount if you take your own KeepCup for take-away coffee.
- Use a refillable water bottle.
- Packaging is a huge part of our plastic use - about 40 per cent of all plastic manufactured is used just once and then tossed. Check out the alternatives. Our health food shop has a large range of bulk goods. Take your own containers and buy only the amount you need at a time. And our friendly butchers are very happy to weigh meat into your own containers.
- Reusable beeswax wraps are great for covering food in the fridge. Obtainable at the Farmers Market or make your own. Instead of plastic fruit and vegetable bags, use reusable ones – available from IGA, or the CWA have sets for sale.
Everybody can do their bit. It might be a bit more work and may cost a little more.
But think of the extra effort and expense as a gift to our children and our children’s children. In fact, it will be an ongoing gift for future generations so that they can continue to enjoy the wonderful planet on which we live.