“We’re Doing It”: Business owners are embracing the Single-Use Plastics Ban in NSW
3.4 million tonnes, the equivalent of 20,000 jumbo jets. That’s how much plastic is discarded in Australia each year. And about a third of this is single-use plastic – a material designed to be used just once, sometimes for mere seconds, before being thrown out. And once discarded, some single-use plastics can take years, decades or even centuries to decompose.
But this situation is set to change. From 1 November, NSW is joining the growing number of states and countries that are banning single-use plastics. The NSW EPA’s Single-Use Plastics Ban includes plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, bowls and plates, expanded polystyrene food service items, plastic cotton buds and some personal care products with microbeads.
A 2021 report from the Australian Government shows that each year, every person in Australia uses, on average, 50 plastic straws and over 100 plastic cups. Once used, single-use plastic items like these are discarded in the environment. In NSW, single-use plastic items make up 60% of the state’s litter. Plastic items discarded in our cities, towns and rural communities end up in the ocean where they are not only unsightly but they can be harmful to animals. Many animals mistakenly ingest plastic believing it to be a food source. This can cause injury, suffocation, starvation and often death.
Clearly the ban will have a big impact on hospitality business owners, that is, the owners of cafes, restaurants and takeaways. Many of these businesses have relied on single-use plastic food service items for years and making the switch to sustainable alternatives presents a new challenge.
For this reason, Take 3 for the Sea is partnering with NSW EPA to inspire hospitality business owners to feel a sense of pride and excitement as they transition away from single-use plastics to sustainable alternatives. Take 3’s ‘We’re Doing It’ campaign casts a spotlight on those business owners who have already embraced the ban and transitioned to sustainable alternatives like paper straws, bamboo cutlery and cardboard takeaway containers. Listen to their stories in this video:
Take 3 would love to hear what you think about their video. Once you’ve watched it, click below to take a short (four question) survey to share your opinions with us.
Jacquie Riddell, CEO of Take 3 said, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with NSW EPA to spread the word about the single-use plastics ban. Our campaign is designed to encourage the owners of cafes, restaurants and takeaways to embrace the ban. We want to inspire them to view the switch to sustainable alternatives as an opportunity to demonstrate leadership in protecting the environment and caring for the ocean.”
Take 3 wants as many people as possible in NSW to see their inspiring video. “We are asking community organisations, such as councils, universities and community groups large and small to distribute the video to their networks”, said Janet Aitchison of Take 3. “The response has been overwhelming. People are using whatever means they can – from social media to newsletters, websites and emails – to get the word out. With such enthusiastic support, we are confident that our campaign will have a huge reach, inspiring and motivating people across the state to do their bit to help conserve the oceans by embracing the ban.”
Keep up to date with single-use plastics bans by State and Territory below:
NSW EPA’s Plastic Ban NSW website is a comprehensive source of information about the single-use plastics ban, exemptions to the ban and alternative product types.