A plastic-free Coogee couldn’t come soon enough. New legislation passed in 2021 will change the plastic landscape for good. The Plastics and Circular Economy Act 2021 was passed in NSW Parliament in November, triggering a prompt phasing out of single-use plastics starting in June 2022.
The first common plastic item to be banned in NSW is the lightweight plastic bag, from 1 June 2022. Whooo hooo! No more lightweight plastic bags will be supplied by restaurants and retailers and that means a lot fewer shopping bags blowing in the wind and ending up in the ocean.
What’s the alternative? Have sturdy reusable shopping bags stashed in the boot of your car. Keep a couple of rolled-up reusable bags in your backpack or handbag. Opt for a cardboard box when you shop at Bunnings or the veggie shop. Lightweight single-use plastic bags are about to be history.
Then, from 1 November 2022, single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, bowls, plates and cotton buds are all banned across the state. Also banned from use are expanded polystyrene items such as cups, bowls or plates. This is a big change for food retailers in Coogee and the entire Randwick LGA. The biodegradable alternatives are so much better than plastic food service items.
Cups are the worst! Across Australia, 2.7 million single-use throwaway cups are discarded every single day. They cannot be recycled in kerbside collections due to their plastic lining. They contaminate the recycling stream, end up in landfill, or worse, in our environment.
“If any local businesses would like help making the switch to certified compostable products, and some advice on how to save money while doing so, please get in touch. Our program is free and funded by the government,” says Julia from Plastic Free Randwick, an initiative set up to help businesses in our LGA.
Hats off to all the businesses in Coogee and surrounds, who are making the transition to a plastic-free economy in 2022. And kudos to Coogee Refill on Dudley Street for being the first business in Coogee to make the full transition to plastic-free.