Ditch single-use plastics and reduce litter in the Illawarra and our oceans.
Single-use plastics you can refuse or replace with more sustainable options include:
- Plastic bags
- Takeaway containers, food packaging and plastic cutlery
- Coffee cups and lids – even cups that look cardboard usually have plastic lining.
- Reusable nappies
- Reusable face masks
Every change helps, whether you want to focus on one item at a time, or make a big effort to get rid of all single-use plastics.
Beyond plastic bags
Now that the major supermarkets have removed single-use plastic bags (yay!) most of us are getting used to reusable shopping bags.
Here are some more easy ways you can keep up the good work and remove plastic bags from other parts of your life:
- Line your bin with old newspapers, paper bags, empty cereal bags, bread bags or pasta/rice bags.
- Try composting or worm farming so you need fewer bin liners.
- Use cloth or mesh bags for fresh produce instead of grabbing plastic ones in-store.
- Take your own containers to the butcher, deli or fish market. If you forget, ask if they can wrap your items in paper instead of plastic.
- Try beeswax wraps or reusable containers for your sandwiches instead of plastic bags or wrap.
We have some great community groups who make bags out of recycled materials. The Wollongong and northern Illawarra Boomerang Bags groups are always looking for new volunteers to help make bags.
Get involved by checking out one of these groups:
- Surfrider Foundation UOW Club and Society (for the CBD area)
- See Boomerang Bags Coal Coast on Facebook
- Join CareWays' Boomerang Bags group at Thirroul Neighbourhood Centre - call (02) 4262 1918 or email for more information.
Litter, especially plastic, can have a huge negative impact on our oceans and the animals who live there.To learn more, see the EPA's Marine Litter Campaign.
Make your own beeswax wraps
Beeswax wraps are a great alternative to single-use plastic wrap, and they're easy to make, Check out our Beeswax Wraps page for details.
Single-use plastics ban
The NSW Government has banned certain single-use plastics.
Lightweight plastic shopping bags were banned from 1 June 2022, and a number of other single-use plastic items were banned from 1 November 2022.
To learn more, visit the Plastics Ban NSW website.
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