Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has praised the community for coming together in support of Plastic Free July, and collectively saying ‘no’ to single-use plastics.
During the month, many locals took up the plastic free challenge, committing to change their behaviours and avoid unnecessary waste across the region.
As part of the initiative, council worked with local market organisers to reduce their use of plastics by distributing around 3,800 free jute bags at their events, hosted waste avoidance competitions, and had more than 4,000 conversations with residents about how to reduce waste at home.
Council group manager Maria Doherty said that once again our community has shown just what can be achieved when we all work together.
“The support for Plastic Free July has absolutely blown us away, with so many people getting on board and avoiding the use of single-use plastics wherever possible,” said Ms Doherty.
“Simple behaviour changes like using reusable bags for your shopping or swapping takeaway coffee cups for reusable cups, goes such a long way to reducing litter and keeping our environment clean.”
In an effort to show as an organisation what could be achieved, council partnered with national not-for-profit organisation, Responsible Cafés.
A number of local businesses participate in the program, and offer discounts to customers who use a reusable cup for their coffee purchases.
“As a council, by using reusable cups we saved more than 2,500 takeaway coffee cups from going to landfill, and if we continue at this rate, will divert around 30,000 cups from landfill each year,” Ms Doherty said.
“This is quite a significant amount of waste avoided, and goes to show that by focusing on just one waste stream, we can achieve a considerable result and keep our region beautiful.
“Council thanks all local residents who made a change during Plastic Free July, no matter how big or small, and encourages everyone to continue to say no to single-use plastics in our community,” Ms Doherty added.