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Don't Bag It: Say no to plastic bags

It's time for our community to take action on single use plastic.

Don’t Bag It: Say no to plastic bags is supported by Sustainability Victoria’s Improving Resource Recovery Program. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the problems with single use plastic bags, and find ways to avoid single use plastic at home, school and in the wider community.

 

Keep it Loose

Plastic bags are causing havoc at our Material Recovery Facility (MRF). Recycling in a plastic bag goes straight to landfill as the sorting facilities can’t separate the different materials. We took a group of community members to our local MRF to find out what happens when plastic bags end up in the recycling bin.

Watch the video here

What is the problem with plastic bags?

Australian use around four billion plastic bags every year. More often than not, we use these bags for a grand total of 12 minutes. Then they are tossed into our landfill or escape as litter. Many end up in our oceans and waterways, causing harm to our wildlife. These plastic bags fill our landfill, harm our wildlife and break up into smaller and smaller fragments that continue to cause environmental harm. 

Energy and resources have been used to produce plastic bags and only a small percentage are currently being recycled. Using something once and throwing it away is a waste as there are many sustainable and alternative options. Bringing your own reusable bag when you shop requires a change in habit, but it is something everyone can do. If we all make a simple change and switch from unnecessary single use items, the benefits to the environment will be significant.

You can choose to be part of the solution

  • Avoiding products in plastic packaging (choose an alternative)
  • Reducing your use of plastic wherever possible (remember your reusable shopping bags, reusable bottle, reusable straw and reusable coffee cup)
  • Refusing plastics that easily escape as litter (e.g. straws, takeaway cups, utensils, balloons)
  • Recycling all the plastic that cannot be avoided

If a single use item cannot be avoided, reduce the amount that you use and recycle appropriately.

Plastic bags (and other soft plastic) can be recycled at the supermarket in the REDcycle bin or taken to any transfer station within Wangaratta.

Community groups and upcoming events

There are a number of groups doing great work to reduce and eliminate single use plastic in our community.

Boomerang bags is a community sharing and plastic reducing initiative that provides re-uasable, and often recycled bags for shoppers to borrow and reuse.

Wangaratta now has a repair café. Repair Cafe’s are volunteer run organisations that aim to teach people how to fix basic household items to keep stuff out of landfill.

Waste Wise Wangaratta is a community group that focuses on reducing waste in Wangaratta. The group regularly run activities and advocate for plastic free Wangaratta.

Wangaratta Sustainability Network comprises a number of action groups, including Waste Wise Wangaratta. The Network works to promote sustainability and sharing of information and resources across Wangaratta.

The Landcare movement is active in the Rural City of Wangaratta with over 16 Landcare groups throughout the municipality.

Clean Up Australia Day events are held in Wangaratta every year. Visit their website to register your interest.

Upcoming events

  • Plastic free July. Take on the challenge here
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