Take up the challenge and go Plastic Free July with others in the Hastings region

PLASTIC FREE: Port Macquarie-Hastings Council group manager Maria Doherty, waste projects officer Nicky Julian and JR Richard's Martin Holmes at the Cairncross Waste Management Facility. Photo: Laura Telford.

PLASTIC FREE: Port Macquarie-Hastings Council group manager Maria Doherty, waste projects officer Nicky Julian and JR Richard's Martin Holmes at the Cairncross Waste Management Facility. Photo: Laura Telford.

Have you ever wondered what happens to rubbish after the garbage trucks collect it from the kerbside each week?

Cairncross Waste Management Facility spearheads some of the rubbish and recycling projects in the Hastings and we went for a visit ahead of Plastic Free July.

Plastic Free July is a great time to start changing daily habits and commit to avoid, reduce and reuse waste.

From using your own reusable shopping bags, coffee cups and water bottles, to avoiding unnecessary pre-packaged products at supermarkets, the challenge is a great way to help reduce the litter and waste that goes to landfill, and protects our rivers and ocean from plastic pollution.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council group manager Maria Doherty said going plastic free can be a simple task as long as you know how to go about it.

“The simple way to avoid waste is to say no to plastic bags and unnecessary packaging by using a reusable bag for your shopping,” Ms Doherty said.

“For example council’s second biggest waste item collected is takeaway coffee cups so a keep cup for your tea or coffee would be a great way to cut down on waste.

“Another option would be going for a reusable drink bottle or using containers with lids or brown paper bags for your lunch.”

Ms Doherty said that events like plastic free July are great to get the community talking about waste but she hopes it will continue past July.

RECYCLE: Bales of plastic after it has been sorted at Cairncross Waste Management Facility. Photo: Laura Telford.

RECYCLE: Bales of plastic after it has been sorted at Cairncross Waste Management Facility. Photo: Laura Telford.

“Plastic Free July is fantastic, the whole community can get behind it and take steps to reduce their waste,” she said.

“But it is also part of a wider conversation around reducing waste in general so that less needs to be recycled.

“Honestly it is also about all the small changes people can make in reducing their reliance on plastic.

“We are working really hard in recycling plastic but we all need to be thinking about cutting down on using plastic in the first place.

“Plastic straws for example take millions of years to break down in the environment and it is so easy to forgo them.”

“Several local markets across the region have made the call to go completely plastic free in July, and have long-term plans in place to reduce plastic bags and packaging at their events which is also fantastic.”

To take part in Plastic Free July head to the official website to see how you can get involved.

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