Isabella Ross 

Within the last month, businesses across Australia have begun to phase out single-use plastic paraphernalia in a bid to better the environment. Corporations from the likes of Woolworths, Starbucks and McDonalds have followed this trend, vowing to crack down on the unnecessary and often ecologically hazardous use of plastic.

Woolworths Group chief executive Brad Banducci, right, and Woolworths Stores director Michael James


Also jumping on the anti-plastic bandwagon has been Ku-ring-gai Council, which has urged North Shore locals and businesses to say goodbye to plastic, and hello to BYO. Earlier this July, council announced that it had partnered with North Sydney Council and Willoughby City Council to launch a new campaign called Bye-Bye Plastic.

“I am quite sure our community will be supportive of any shop that removes free single-use plastic bags. We just need to get back into the habit of taking a bag with us when shopping,” said Ku-ring-gai Mayor Jennifer Anderson.

According to the Australian Marine Conservation Society, plastic bags are one of the deadliest types of plastic pollution. Since the material is not biodegradable it often results in marine life mistaking the tiny plastic particles for food. Echoing council’s new initiative is local business owner of Tonic Lane Café, Lain Tapsall.

“We stopped offering free disposable coffee cups within our business 12 months ago and ask our customers to bring their own reusable cup.”

In further news that was praised by environmental activists, McDonalds announced that it would phase out plastic straws by 2020. McDonald’s Australia Supply Chain Director, Robert Sexton, commented on the chain’s effort to identify sustainable alternatives.

“As one of the world’s largest restaurant businesses, we know we have the responsibility and opportunity to make significant change. We know plastic straws is a topic our customers are passionate about and we will find a viable solution.”

Even though the national ban on plastic has come to the frustration of some, it is ultimately a positive and fundamental step in the right direction. By incorporating simple grassroots changes into your everyday lifestyle you can make a genuine difference and help create a greener future for Australia.