6 easy ways to cut down on single-use plastics

Look after SA’s seas and marine life by making smarter choices about some of your everyday items. Here’s how.

What better way to celebrate World Oceans Day on 8 June than by learning how to keep our seas looking fantastic by reducing plastic pollution. 

South Australia borders on the Southern Ocean. We share the Southern Ocean with Antarctica and the South Pole, which explains why our state’s sea waters are usually chillier than north of Australia.

About 85 per cent of southern Australia’s marine life is found nowhere else in the world, so we need to make sure we look after the precious body of water that they call home.

A good place to start is by reducing reduce the amount of plastic hitting and hurting ocean life – marine debris.

It can be as easy as making some thoughtful decisions in your everyday life, such as reducing and refusing single-use plastics. Here’s six easy ways how:

1. Use reusable water bottles and cups

Paper coffee cups have a plastic lining that can’t be recycled and most disposable water bottles end up in the trash – so try to avoid using these items.

Instead, invest in a reusable water bottle and bring your own reusable coffee mug to the coffee shop. You might even nab a discount.

2. Say no to fruit and veg plastic bags

SA was the first state in the country to ban single-use plastic bags at shopping centres. But you can take saving the seas to the next level by skipping those thin plastic bags for your fruit and vegetable produce – you’re going to rinse the produce once you’re home anyway. If you can’t bear the thought of your apples rolling around loose in your shopping trolley, bring reusable produce bags with you.

3. Avoid plastic straws and utensils

If you love sipping through a straw, why not try a reusable steel, glass, or bamboo option. And if you buy your lunch and need cutlery, carry your own reusable knives and forks instead of grabbing those flimsy plastic ones.

4. Keep food fresh in different ways

Avoid using cling wrap. Keep leftover food fresh by wrapping it in aluminium foil instead, which can be rinsed and recycled afterwards, use reusable containers, or try beeswax wraps.  

5. Start ‘plogging’

You may be asking yourself ‘what on earth is that?’ Plogging is a fun new term to describe a fitness craze that involves picking up litter while jogging. It was coined in Sweden.

Don’t want to jog? Maybe SA can create a new craze, and call it ‘picking up rubbish when we see it’ – heaps good.

6. Fish with environmentally-friendly gear

Make your fishing trip marine-friendly by using bioline, a fishing line that will biodegrade if it’s lost at sea. Don’t sweat – it won’t jeopardise the strength of your line.  

Even though these choices might seem small, the effects add up over time and, the ocean will thank you.

Do you have a reducing and refusing single use plastics tip? Let us know in the comment section below.

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