Who is winning the battle against the supervillain in Byron Shire?
It’s not always bad news about the fight against plastic. There are some heroic and brainy initiatives tearing through the region.
The unconscious plastic use of Homo Sapiens threatens the existence of a jillion lifeforms, from mystic underwater creatures to the common person, who is swallowing up to 50,0000 microplastics particles every year. Like it or not, we are all in this together, for better or worse. These avoidable plastics cause irreversible damage to the ecology we live in. And if we are honest with ourselves, we really don’t need them. We have glass, we have paper, and we have to think about each other.
The sentient souls of Byron, together with local businesses, are taking a stand against plastic. The more of us who stand, speak, and recycle the idea of plastic-free living, the faster we will take back Gotham City from the Joker. A collaboration between Boomerang Alliance and Byron Shire Council has been running a heroic project called Plastic Free Byron – Make the Switch. The initiative works with local food businesses to transition them to a 100 per cent single-use plastic-free operation. Foxy Luu’s in Byron Bay is the latest local eatery to come on board.
Foxy Luu’s, and our other members who are making changes, are really making a big difference. It may not seem like much, but each business making changes, one by one, over time adds up to a lot of plastic eliminated. In the first nine months of the program, our members eliminated almost 300,000 pieces of single-use plastic, and this figure keeps increasing. We’re looking forward to seeing what our second year brings, and we hope more businesses in Byron will join us.
Program manager Kellie Lindsay says, ‘What we love about operating in Byron is feeding and engaging with the countless locals who hold strong beliefs and inspiring conversations about our impact on the planet, animal welfare, food security, and ethics. What makes Byron so exceptional is the ongoing activism of the community, and the people’s incorruptible values and unstoppable energy to fight for their beliefs.’
‘At Foxy, we are regularly reminded about these expectations by our customers. As an operator, the challenge is how to address these ethical expectations while sustaining the business,’ Foxy owner Utku (Max) adds.
‘A few months ago, we engaged with Plastic Free Byron Bay. Their honourable purpose is to guide small businesses to a 100 per cent single-use plastic-free operation,’ says Max. It’s a free service and we strongly suggest all businesses contact them at www.plasticfreebyron.com. They are very passionate about this cause but understand that businesses have many commercial priorities.
Max says, ‘They came to us, fully informed and ready to join forces. Our team learnt that having natural materials like corn and rice starch or being biodegradable doesn’t mean that the item is plastic free. Consequently, we went through every single item we use on a daily basis and shortlisted the items that had plastic in them. With their help, we sought alternatives from the environmentally conscious local businesses such as Greenpack in Billinudgel. Sam and Jackie from Greenpack have been patient and resourceful in accommodating our every need in sourcing our particular items. We extend warm gratitude to each individual who has helped our business become entirely free of single-use plastic.’