We would love your support so we can buy some more gloves, pickers and hopefully one day a trailer. If you'd like to support us, save this picture and then scan this barcode at the "Return & Earn" machines and then click PayPal and your bottles and cans will contribute to our cause: community engagement, litter reduction, good deeds and friendships.
A shark got a massive cut after growing up trapped inside a plastic ring she’d gotten tangled in as a baby. The seven-foot long (224cm) porbeagle shark was spotted by marine scientist James Sulikowski off the coast of Maine during the first week of July. Sulikowski and his fellow researchers quickly removed the plastic from the shark, which is likely to grow as long as 11-feet (335cm) when she reaches maturity. This is how harmful human garbage can be to marine wildlife. Humans are bigger potential killers than sharks.
We've said it before and were saying it again. If we all switched to reusable coffee cups, we would divert 500 billion takeaway coffee cups from landfill every year.
The lunchtime smokers of North Sydney gathered under a cloud this week after their local council became the first in Australia to vote to ban smoking in all public places within its CBD.
Using roughly the same authority that allows a council to create no-parking zones and leash-only dog parks, on Monday night North Sydney council passed a unanimous motion to ban smoking throughout public places in the entire CBD. The ban includes parks, footpaths, benches; any public place.There will be a three-month awareness campaign and people won’t be fined until a council review next March to see whether the self-regulated ban is working. The wider population, at least in North Sydney, disagrees. Before it instituted the ban, the council called for public feedback and, out of 577 submissions, 80% were in favour of the ban.
The SCG have announced this initiative in their latest newsletter. We are very impressed!
Well done Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) keep up the progress and hopefully others will follow.
Make your own keep cup. No more excuses. Reusable silicon coffee cup bands are now in Manly Co-Op for $2.97 (member price). You can reuse your old jars for coffee cups that way or if you prefer use rubber bands and put around your jar. Now, no more single use take away coffee cups for you
We're very confused here and the people at the counter could not give us any good explanation to why they are handing out free plastic straws and plastic lids when they have a sign saying that they don't. But next to that sign the have a sign saying "A straw is very nice to sip through the ice." Picture from Melbourne Domestic Airport, Hungry Jacks
Takeaway Cup Surcharge❇️
Really keen to hear your thoughts on this...
If you are in the coffee business, do you think this would:
If you’re in the coffee business and you have already implemented this, has it:
Negatively affected sales?
Been embraced by customers?
Encouraged the use of BYO reusables?
Encouraged people to stay a while, maybe enjoy a bite 🍰
Lowered your waste?
Generated interest in your community?
If you’re a regular coffee buyer, how would it make you feel if you had to pay a small surcharge for a takeaway cup?
Would you be so annoyed that you’d look for a new local cafe to go to?
Would you admire your local cafe for caring for the environment?
Would you embrace the change? Maybe even invest in a keep cup?
Any feedback appreciated! 🙌💚
Okay, let’s talk about what’s best for the kitchen bin.
Veronica Maree took this pic at Woolworths, and she's a little frustrated because of how deceiving and confusing this is for the regular shopper just trying their best to make a good decision at the checkout. Here is her great explanation:
Multix have come out with a ‘greener’ bin liner option. Looks great on the outside, but let’s break this down.
The top bag she's holding is labeled ‘plant based’. Okay, sounds positive right? Well, yeh that’s a positive, it also states that it’s “made from 60% plant-based material, a renewable resource from the sugarcane industry” which is indeed a great move, but if you look closely, it is also labelled as ‘degradable’. Now, degradable is not to be confused with ‘biodegradable’ because anything that is degradable will not fully break down into the soil when it ends up in landfill. Instead, it turns into tiny pieces of plastic that will never break down, continuing the micro plastics issue we currently face in our oceans. Probably not a great option.
Okay the second option, same brand, being Multix, same ‘greener’ bold labelling, but here are the differences.
Firstly, instead of ‘plant based’ labelling, they have it labelled as ‘compostable’. It also states that it’s ‘biodegradable’. This is where it makes ALL the difference. So compostable and biodegradable are sort of the same, but sort of not. To the average person, it would seem the same, but here are the slight differences. They both aim to break down safely into the earth, however, biodegradable is made for breaking down in landfills, and compostable is made with a specific set of requirements to break down safely in a compost. Usually the compostable bags are quicker to break down too. So if you were after a bag safe to put into your compost bin, we can understand how this could be confusing. We look closer on the back of the label and it is marked as “home compostable AS 5810 ABAP 20006” and “compostable AS 4736 ABAP 10060”. These numbers refer to the certification from the Australian Bioplastics Association. This is a good option to purchase, and they have different sizes to choose from, plus it is labelled as safe for composts too, so double great.
Lastly, Veronica wanted to shed light on another brand called ‘compost-a-pak”. These were so clearly marked compostable, with zero confusing labels. This is also certified and marked on the back of the label “compostable certification number AS 4736-2006 ABAP 10019” and “home compostable certification number ABAP 20001”. It also states under the headline “made from vegetable material and plastic free. Australian certified compostable”. This is so crystal clear and easy to understand, and Veronica wants to show the stark difference in the marketing and labelling. We have seen many people putting the first option on the conveyor belt at the checkout and we know those people are just trying to make the best decision, but it’s not fair that they’re being misled. She couldn’t find other sizes in this brand besides the one, but it’s still a very good option.
We hope this helps you make your decision a little easier when you go shopping next. Thank you Veronica for your great explanation!
Baby sea turtles are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of plastic pollution, according to a new study which found around half of the recently hatched reptiles had stomachs full of plastic. In recent years, scientists have realised that animals ranging from plankton to whales are regularly consuming plastic, since around 10 million tons of it ends up in the sea every year. While some plastic can pass harmlessly through animals’ digestive systems, it can also accumulate and kill them by either blocking or tearing their guts.
A new study published in the journal Nature has attempted to quantify the harm that plastic is having on the turtle population of eastern Australia. In their research, a team led by Dr Britta Denise Hardesty from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) examined data from nearly 1,000 dead turtles to understand the role plastic played in their deaths. They found that the youngest turtles appeared to be most susceptible to plastic pollution. Just over half of the post-hatchling individuals had ingested plastic, and around a quarter of the slightly older juveniles were affected, compared to around 15 per cent of adults. While the number of plastic pieces in the reptiles’ guts varied wildly from one to over 300, the scientists were able to deduce that turtles have a 50 per cent probability of death after consuming 14 pieces. The work emerges as another study documents the global decline of turtles and tortoises that has left over 60 per cent of the world’s species either extinct or facing extinction.
Return and Earn has recycled its two billionth container in just the 19 months the NSW Return and Earn scheme has been running. This is great, less items go to landfill and are being recycled. However, how many of these bottles did we really need to buy in the first place? Don't forget to fill up your reusable water bottles from the tap and bring other bottles to Return and Earn.
Did you know the average plastic bag is used for 12 minutes, but essentially lasts forever?
Single-use plastics are one of the largest culprits of marine and land pollution. Think plastic bottles, straws, take-away cups, plastic utensils, plastic wraps and take away food containers.
Plastic is everywhere and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. So where to start?
Many people start reducing their plastic use by shopping at bulk food stores, local markets and delicatessens.
If you're getting started, remember the 4 'Rs':
Single use items and avoid products wrapped in unnecessary plastic.
Buying products that are overly packaged, and check if they are made with recyclable content.
Pack reusable water bottles, coffee cups, produce and shopping bags when you leave the house. You can also take packaging back to be refilled where possible (many bulk food stores allow you to do this, and Shultz now offers milk in refillable glass bottles at many of its outlets).
Before throwing things in the bin, check your local council webpage to see what can be recycled instead. For items which can't be placed in your recycling bin, such as polystyrene and soft plastics, check Planet ark‘s website, #recyclingnearyou or look for your nearest REDcycle drop off point.
Although the scale of our plastic waste problem can seem scary, even the smallest actions can make a big impact.
A new study finds balloons are the deadliest plastic out there for seabirds. Even though balloons represent only 2 percent of all plastics ingested by seabirds, they are responsible for 42 percent of plastic-related deaths. Marine birds are a 32 times as likely to die from eating a little fragment of a popped balloon than they are from a hard plastic like a LEGO brick or straw, the study found. The reason balloons are so lethal is that they’re able to squeeze into stomach cavities and then open up and block them, the researchers said.
A hard piece of plastic has to be the absolute wrong shape and size to block a region in the birds’ gut, whereas soft rubber items can contort to get stuck. Also, balloons look particularly like seafood to the birds.
Link to research: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-36585-9
Sweden's government wants to look into a ban on plastic cups and food containers, going a step further the EU directive on single-use plastics, the Minister for the Environment has said. Shortly before the end of last year, the European Parliament voted to ban disposable plastic items such as straws, cutlery, and stirrers by 2021. But Sweden wants to go even further and restrict other products, including plastic cups and other items that often litter Swedish beaches. "We all understand that it's completely unsustainable that a material that lasts for hundreds of years and is not degradable in nature is used a single time and then thrown away. We have to find a new system that is sustainable," environment minister Isabella Lövin told the radio station.
This could include replacing plastic products by alternatives made from materials such as paper, or manufacturers looking into new methods of production, she said.In their investigation, the government will look into options such as requiring restaurants and shops to pack food in containers brought by customers, and a kind of deposit scheme (known as pant in Sweden) for plastic items. The decision to look into a plastics ban was part of the 72-point government deal between the four parties in January.
The sea starts here. Lots of litter, particularly cigarette butts end up here. Cigarettes are the most littered item on earth. Worldwide, about 4.5 trillion cigarettes are littered each year. Cigarettes contain more than 7,000 chemicals, such as arsenic (used to kill rats) and formaldehyde (used to preserve dead animals, and humans, too). Littered cigarette butts leach toxic chemicals into the environment and can contaminate water. The toxic exposure can poison fish, as well as animals who eat cigarette butts. Cigarette filters may look like cotton, but 98 percent of cigarette filters are made of plastic fibers (cellulose acetate) that are tightly packed together, which leads to an estimated 1.69 billion pounds of cigarette butts winding up as toxic trash each year. Cigarettes don’t break down naturally, they can gradually decompose depending on environmental conditions like the rain and sun. Estimates on the time it takes vary, but a recent study found that a cigarette butt was only about 38 percent decomposed after two years.
Standard square tea bags – used for teas such as Earl Grey, English breakfast and green tea – are "heat sealed", meaning that a thin film of polypropylene is applied to seal the two sides together. Their "string and tag with sachet" range also contains polypropylene and a small amount of acrylic copolymer emulsion, a plastic-based glue that bonds the bags together.
The way tea bags are manufactured varies depending on the brand but about 70 to 80 per cent of bags are made from compostable paper while the remaining 20 to 30 per cent contains heat-resistant polypropylene. This is to prevent the bag breaking mid-dunk, but it does mean that small pieces of plastic mesh are left behind in the soil when you compost the bags.
Hermit crabs, unlike most crabs, do not grow their own shells. 🐚 🦀Instead, they search for shells among their environment, switching to larger homes as they grow. Sadly, plastic pollution has become so pervasive, that hermit crabs are now living in our trash.
These plastic homes are lightweight and plentiful, making them an easier modern option for new hermit-homebuyers than the old school mollusk house.
While these little crabs are making the most of a dismal situation, what they don't know is that as this plastic ages, it will become brittle and sharp from photodegradation, and is scientifically proven to be toxic to wildlife.
Sometimes when we commute we count how many single use coffee cups we can see compared to reusable cups. On the 7.30 ferry leaving Manly today we saw 34 single use coffee cups vs 3 reusable cups. Come on Manly, you can do better! If we all switched to reusable coffee cups, we would divert 500 billion takeaway coffee cups from landfill every year.
Single-use plastic bags will be banned in all Victorian supermarkets and shops from November, but a study suggests the ban could unintentionally contribute to the state’s deepening waste crisis.
The new legislation, introduced in the Victorian Parliament on Wednesday, will stop cashiers at supermarkets, clothing shops, takeaway restaurants and petrol stations from giving out the bags at the checkout. Victorians use more than one billion plastic shopping bags every year, with the majority ending up in landfill and about 10 million littered on streets and beaches, polluting the environment and endangering wildlife.
The proposed law, which needs to pass both houses of Parliament, would make it illegal for retailers to give customers plastic, single-use carry bags, including those made from degradable, biodegradable and compostable plastics.
Before dog owners panic, there are some exceptions: Animal waste bags will still be allowed. Plastic bin liners and slip bags for fresh produce would also still be legal.
For decades, South Australia has quietly been leading the way toward a plastic-free Australia banning single-use plastic bags at the checkout in 2009 and introducing the nation’s first container deposit scheme in the 1970s.
Yes, we do photograph bins sometimes. This is the bin at wharf 3 at Circular Quay - the bin where ferry commuters throw their trash once they've arrived to the wharf. How many of these single use items do you think can be avoided?
Double plastic bagged pre-cut apples. 300g was $5 - that's more than $16.50 a kilo - for apples. Or are you actually paying for all the plastic?