Australia generates 76m tonnes of rubbish each year. Half is recycled. Half goes to landfill. Plastics are the least recycled material, at 15%*. In fact, every piece of plastic ever made is still on the earth today, unless it has been burnt or in landfill.

Plastic waste is an overwhelming problem, the best thing we can do is make some small adjustments to stop the problem getting any worse. Here are 6 small things you can do that make a big difference:

Get your recycling right. 

Use the correct bins for your waste. Did you know soft plastics pollute your kerbside recycling bin? Find your local TerraCycle or REDcycle drop off bin location at your local supermarket or check out if your council has recycling services for hard to recycle plastics. Many operate pick-up services like RecycleSmart, that will help you feel good about where you dump your waste. 

Ditch the cling film.

Opt for beeswax paper. It’s sustainable, washable and comes in a great range of fun colours. Alternatively invest in some great glass containers or use your empty jars that will keep everything fresh and looking uniform.

Rethink your clothing choices.

Look for natural and sustainable fabrics like linen, tencel, hemp and organic cotton instead of polyester and other plastic materials. Make sure you donate your pre-loved frocks and to give them a second life. 

Your morning cuppa.

Buy loose leaf tea or tea bags that are completely free of plastic - the average tea bag releases approximately 11.6 billion microplastics and 3.1 billion nanoplastics into the tea that you drink. Check it out here.

Out and about. 

Take your shopping bags with you when you go to the grocery store or any other shopping trips. 

Take a keep cup with you to your local cafe or better yet, sit down and drink it there. 

Say no thanks to plastic cutlery and straws when you take food away. Take a fork with you or use the utensils at work or home. 

Take a water bottle instead of buying a disposable plastic bottle.

Your makeup bag.

Choose glass or aluminium packaging or naked products over plastic packaging. 

Or check out more sustainability swap ideas here to make your makeup bag plastic free.


Talk to your partner, friends, family and kids about the changes you are making so they can support you and make their own small changes. It’s not about a few of us being perfect, all of us doing our best will have the biggest impact. 

*Source: ABS.

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