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Single Use Plastics

Produce BagSingle use plastics are one of the most common types of marine debris. Disposable plastic items such as shopping bags, water bottles (and their lids!), straws, cutlery and cups, too often find their way into our waterways where they will never biodegrade, and cause serious problems for our marine life.

Fortunately, the single-use plastic issue is an easy one to fix! By switching single-use, disposable items for multi-use, durable ones, we can drastically reduce the amount of plastic waste being generated in our communities. And there are many different ways to go about making this happen.

Check out the ideas below on how people just like you can engage with the relevant people and businesses in your community, to reduce the amount of single-use, disposable plastic items that are currently available where you live. And remember, sometimes it is as simple as remembering to grab your stainless steel water bottle, bamboo cutlery, or reusable shopping bag with you when you leave the house.

The Last Straw on the GBR

The Last Straw on GBRSingle use plastics such as straws, plastic shopping bags and plastic cutlery are now days found readily in the marine environment and regularly at beach clean-ups across the world. Not only do plastics pose a threat of entanglement to marine life, they also have the capacity to absorb toxins from the environment and then pass them onto organisms if they are later consumed.

It is estimated that Australian's use 10,000,000 straws every day! Nearly all of them get used once...for around 5 minutes...before being thrown away...but they don’t go away...for a long, long time.

Straws like any plastic are durable, long-lived and can survive for longer than any human being on earth today. The Last Straw Australia is a campaign that started in 2015 to end the use of plastic straws in hospitality venues around Australia.

With support from the Tangaroa Blue Foundation, Wet Tropics Healthy Waterways, Cairns Regional Council, CAFNEC Marine Response team and The Last Straw Australia, the concept of the Last straw on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) was developed by Marine Biologist, Nicole Nash.

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It’s official!!

CansYou can get money back for your drink container, but no more plastic bags
 
Queenslanders can look forward to cleaner parks, beaches and public areas as the state now has a container refund scheme and a ban on plastic shopping bags ready to start next year.
 
Environment Minister Steven Miles said the Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill 2017 that introduces Queensland’s container refund scheme and plastic shopping bag ban was passed by State Parliament today (5 September 2017).
 
Mr Miles said the Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill 2017 passed through Parliament with bipartisan support.
 

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Plastic Free July Survival Guide Summary

Survival GuideBy Kate Nelson aka Plastic Free Mermaid

Plastic does not biodegrade. Scientists are not totally sure how long it takes to go back into the earth in a healthy and happy way, but it surely will not even be in the lifetime of our great great great great great great great grandchildren. So, it seems wise to stop using this durable material for single-use items.

Plastic Free July is a month-long challenge to avoid single-use plastics. It may seem daunting! To prepare for success, follow these simple steps:

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The Last Straw on the Great Barrier Reef

Last Straw GBRSingle use plastics such as straws, plastic shopping bags and plastic cutlery are now days found readily in the marine environment and regularly at beach clean-ups across the world. Not only do plastics pose a threat of entanglement to marine life they also have the capacity to absorb toxins from the environment and then pass them onto organisms if they are later consumed. It is estimated that Australian's use 10,000,000 straws every day! And all of them get just one use, before they get ditched, some escaping into the environment, and plenty of them making their way into our ocean and onto our beaches.

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Students Learning How Long Till it's Gone!

Horn Island PosterA new poster is on display at Horn Island School in the Torres Strait Islands! The poster explains how long rubbish that is thrown into the environment, will stay in the environment, potentially killing and injuring local wildlife.

The school's P&C has put the poster up in an area where students have their parade and lunch breaks, and teachers talk to students about the plastics in their lunch boxes, and pick some out to staple up on the wall with the poster. You can download the poster here!

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