Globally 95% of all plastic packaging is used once and then wasted, often as litter. In its 2014 Marine Debris report in Australia, the CSIRO stated that, ‘two thirds of the marine debris found along our coastline is plastic, most from local sources.’ The National Litter Index (2015) has cited Queensland as the most littered state in Australia.
but...Australia is changing
In Australia, most state governments are moving to reduce plastic litter through the introduction of container refund schemes and bans on plastic bags. Queensland introduced both in 2018. These measures will dramatically reduce litter and are recognised as good first steps in addressing plastic pollution.
the next step
The next step is to address the many other forms of disposable plastics. The fact is that plastic litter in the environment is an eyesore, a pollutant, a threat to wildlife and, according to recent reports, a potential threat to human health. Plastic litter in the environment is so destructive that we need to do more than wait for the slow wheels of the legislative arm to turn.
Many individuals and businesses have become aware of the plastic pollution problem and are changing habits and practices. However, what we lack is a whole community taking control of its plastic footprint, with a focus on long lasting solutions, and showing other communities how this can be achieved. The most powerful actions begin with the individual, extend to the community and then to our politicians. If we want to see wide scale change, we need to create a culture of community action, and the best time to start is right now.
empowering communities to make a difference
Plastic Free Noosa is the pilot program of the Boomerang Alliance's 'Plastic Free Places program, which focuses on the next step to achieving this wide scale change. The goal of the campaign is to inspire, assist and empower communities to reduce their use of disposable, single use plastics.
Noosa is playing a vital role by providing insight into running a comprehensive community program that will aid future communities attempting to reduce single-use plastic. It is leading the way in showing what can be achieved when a community works together towards a single goal - and is empowering other communities to follow along the way.
Plastic Free Noosa
Plastic Free Noosa is a plan to reduce Noosa's plastic footprint. Our aim is to reduce single-use plastic packaging by 50% by 2020 by engaging food outlets, markets, events, and other organisations to switch to better alternatives. Our main focus is on reducing six single-use plastic items which represent the most problematic and prolific sources of the litter stream; water bottles, straws, coffee cups/lids, takeaway containers, foodware (cutlery, plates, cups etc) and plastic bags. To learn more about how we are achieving this, check out the Plastic Free Noosa Plan.