The owner of an eco-conscious and sustainability focused cafe encourages businesses to do their homework about environmentally friendly products.
It comes as the end is near for single-use plastics, including bags, straws, cotton buds, plates, bowls and cutlery, after the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021 passed NSW Parliament.
Port Macquarie cafe katecaters chef/owner Kate Mitchell welcomed the looming phase out of single-use plastics.
Ms Mitchell hopes the move will encourage packaging companies to make more environmentally friendly products.
"I'm hoping this nudge from the government will move a lot of companies making money from nasty single-use plastics to think outside the box," she said.
The Port Macquarie cafe embarked on a discovery mission to seek out companies with environmentally friendly products.
Compostable trays, paper bags and recycled glass jars are part of everyday business at katecaters.
The business has never used disposable coffee cups and instead sells takeaway coffee in donated glass jars after the labels are removed and the jars are sterilised.
An estimated two thirds of customers return the glass jars. Many customers also bring in their own reusable coffee cups, such as KeepCups.
Ms Mitchell encourages businesses to do their research about environmentally friendly packaging and to buy in bulk to avoid unnecessary packaging.
She said businesses turning to environmentally friendly products needed to win their customers over and then most customers would end up loving the change.
State government legislation will prohibit the supply of lightweight plastic bags from June 1, 2022.
The supply of other items will be prohibited from November 1, 2022, including single-use plastic straws, cutlery, stirrers, cotton buds, plates and bowls, and expanded polystyrene food service items.
Treasurer and Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean said plastic packaging and single-use plastics made up 60 per cent of litter across the state, with single-use plastics to be phased out from June next year.
"Only 10 per cent of plastics in NSW are recycled, with the rest ending up in landfill, or worse, littering our streets, dumped in our parks and washing up in our waterways," Mr Kean said.
"The NSW government is spending $356 million over the next five years to deliver the NSW Plastics Action Plan and the NSW Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041.
"This will help reduce the environmental impacts of plastics litter, while encouraging the development of new and innovative products," he said.
"This legislation is expected to stop 2.7 billion single-use items from ending up in our natural environment and waterways over the next 20 years, and is a game-changer in the fight against plastic waste across our state."
Businesses will be supported to transition to alternative products before the phase outs come into effect.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Felicity Wilson said a range of education and engagement campaigns would run to support consumers and businesses transition.
"I want to thank the many businesses and households who have already voluntarily taken action to reduce their single-use plastics, particularly those who take their own reuseable bags to the shops," Ms Wilson said.
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