Keep Australia Beautiful week is now upon us. Launched in 1968, it is the first anti-litter campaign advocating for a litter-free and sustainable Australia.
This year the campaign is putting a spotlight on eliminating single-use plastic waste to help protect the country’s biodiversity from the material’s harmful effects. According to a 2020 report by Boston Consulting Group commissioned by conservation organisation WWF Australia, 130,000 tonnes of plastic consumed by Australians leaks into the environment each year.
Keep Australia Beautiful is encouraging Australians to commit to a 7-Day Plastic Pledge and lead by example, asking participants to refuse single-use plastic such as disposable face masks, takeaway packaging and coffee cups and switch to reusable alternatives. The campaign also urges participants to share about their progress in order to encourage others to adopt plastic-free habits.
In Australia, one million tonnes of annual plastic consumption is single-use plastic. With just 13% of the plastic consumed in the country being recycled, the plastic crisis has become a top environmental focus of local, state and federal governments, with state and territory governments rolling out bans on problematic single-use plastics such as plastic cutlery, straws, plates and stirrers.
After convening a National Plastics Summit in 2020, the Australian government has also developed its National Plastics Plan outlining its plan of action for plastic prevention, recycling and innovation. Working with industry, the government plans to phase out “fragmentable” plastic such as biodegradable plastic by July 2022 and aims to have 70% of the plastics consumed in the country to be recovered by 2025.
In addition, every state and territory government has, or plans to have, a container deposit scheme to reduce plastic bottle pollution.
Keep Australia Beautiful runs from August 16 to August 22. It’s not too late to play your part in keeping the country pollution-free. Take the plastic pledge here.
- 12 Simple Ways to Use Less Plastic
- 10 Ways to Avoid Single-Use Plastic When Out and About
- 20 Items That Should Be On Your Zero Waste List
- How to Transition to a Plastic-Free Lifestyle in Just 8 Simple Steps
- Where to Shop Online For Sustainable, Plastic-Free and Zero Waste Products in Australia
- Educational Docos and Short Films About Plastic Pollution and Living Plastic-Free
- 5 Reasons Why I Failed Plastic Free July
Cover image by Sarah Chai.