8.9 C
Byron Shire
July 20, 2024

Plastic Free July returns

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Indonesian food vendor, Ini Bali Vegan.
Photo Melinda Andreas

Back in July 2016, Mullum Cares and the Plastic Free Byron coalition took on single-use plastics in Byron Shire, and the community rallied with their support. 

Sasha Mainsbridge from Mullum Cares told The Echo, ‘We leveraged the Plastic Free July movement and, by 2017, everyone had a keep cup and a refillable water bottle’. 

‘Most local shops ditched plastic bags, straws and cutlery, long before the state plastic bans came into force in 2018. It felt like we could stop worrying about our takeaway habits. 

‘Then Covid hit, and the widespread “switch” to single-use compostables seemed to reverse much of our hard work. 

‘These items were allowed in our green bins, and while the hardcore waste warriors weren’t fans, most people were happy to see these convenience items having a good  end-of-life as compost. 

PFAS found 

‘Then, PFAS was found to be in many of these items, and now they are all destined for landfill. As ruled by the EPA, they are toxic, and we should all want to avoid them. 

‘Byron Shire Council is addressing the issue by phasing out many single-use items from their operations and the halls and lands they manage. 

‘To ease the transition, they are providing support to many local events including markets’. 

Ms Mainsbridge is inviting the community to support Plastic Free July.

‘Our local markets need practical support from the community that loves them.  

‘Remember to take your BYO kits, and lessen the burden on the markets to supply and manage reusables. 

‘We are working with the Bruns and Mullum Community Markets, and the new Mullum Flea Market, to trial reusables during July and August. 

 ‘So whether you BYO, or are happy to offer a donation for using the market’s reusables, we hope you can come along and be a part of this change that will benefit us all and future generations.’


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