Life after plastic bags is the theme of National Recycling Week from 11 November to 17 November 2013. This year Council’s Green Team is asking all community members to reconsider their use of plastic bags.
Manager Environment and Strategic Planning Renee Campbell said: “Plastic bags are harmful to both wildlife and our environment. In Australia we use more than six billion single-use plastic bags each year, with many of these ending up in our parks, waterways and oceans.
“Generally a single use plastic bag is used from the time it takes to get the groceries from the store to your home. When you consider plastic bags take up to 1,000 years to breakdown in the environment, there has to be a better option.”
As part of National Recycling Week, Council is conducting free workshops where you can meet local seabird rescuer, Kirsten Hort, as she shares stories of her work with pelicans, penguins and plastic entanglements. She’s joined by Council’s Green Team to explore how we can avoid plastic bags, use alternatives and protect our local wildlife.
Seabird rescue workshops
- Monday 11 November, 12.30pm-1.30pm @ Wollongong Library, 41 Burelli Street Wollongong
- Thursday 14 November, 11am-12noon @ Thirroul Library, 352-358 Lawrence Hargrave Drive Thirroul
To book phone Council on 4227 7111.
To reduce the threat of plastic bags in our oceans, Council is encouraging all community members to say no to using plastic bags.
By reducing our use of plastic bags we can:
- Stop plastic bags becoming windblown litter which end up looking unsightly in our parks, beaches and waterways.
- Help stop many seabirds, turtles, dolphins and even whales from ingesting plastic bags which they can choke on or starve by confusing plastic bags for jellyfish.
- Save our non-renewable resources – plastic bags are made from oil and gas. Once they are depleted, they cannot be replaced.
Try a basic alternative to the single-use plastic bags:
- Try old newspapers, finished cereal bags, bread bags or pasta/rice bags to line your bin or keep rubbish in.
- Set up a compost bin, bokashi or worm farm as a solution to removing food waste from your bin and creating healthy soil for your garden.
- Purchase reusable bags which are available at most supermarket outlets and remember to bring these back each time. Another option is to bring a couple of washing baskets which stack neatly in each other for ease of carrying your groceries home from the supermarket.
- After unpacking groceries, put your reusable bags back into your car so they are available for next time.
To the Leatherback Turtle plastic bags look just like jelly fish. Leatherback turtles have survived for millions of years, but today these ancient animals are endangered. Filmy plastic bags drifting under water look a lot like a leatherback’s favourite food—sea jellies or jelly fish. Hungry turtles snap up the bags and choke—or suffer when the bags clog their intestines.
By refusing to use plastic bags we can help the endangered leatherback sea turtles when you shop.
Our plastic bags and bottles blow into waterways and rides ocean currents. Over time, plastic breaks down into confetti like crumbs that collect in the Pacific Ocean. These tiny bits, sometimes called “mermaid tears,” look like food to some ocean animals.For more information you can visit our website or visit the National Recycling Week website at http://recyclingweek.planetark.org/athome
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