Reduce waste

plastic free shopping

Plastic pollution harms our health, wildlife, and the environment.

It is up to all of us to say no to single-use plastic and where possible use non-plastic alternatives.

Eight million tonnes of plastic enters the world’s oceans each year– equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute. At current rates, this is expected to increase to two per minute by 2030, and four per minute by 2050. Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Plastic Free July

This July we are supporting Plastic Free July which is a global movement helping millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities.

The City of Swan will be running a series of events throughout the month of July. We will also be promoting a range of ways you can help support this very important initiative including the ten common areas where you can avoid plastic.

Single-use plastics:

  • Make up a third of the litter we see on our streets and in our waterways – they are costly to clean up and difficult to recycle.
  • Are often used for only a few minutes but remain in the environment for a long time
  • Harm the environment – they break into microplastics which harm wildlife and contaminate our food and water.

Take the challenge and join millions of people reducing their plastic waste. Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics? Sign up at

Top ten tips to reduce your impact

  1. Coffee - carry a reusable coffee cup or dine in. Dine in or use a reusable cup for your coffee and beverages to save plastic. If you have trouble remembering to take your reusable cup, try packing it with your lunch box each day, putting it in your work bag or placing it near your keys.

  2. Fruit and vegetables - buy plastic free. Buy your fruit and vegetables loose and avoid plastic produce bags by taking your own reusable ones.

  3. Water bottles - BYO reusable bottle. Bottled water is not only expensive (on average 2,000 times more so than tap water) but also requires a lot of oil and water to manufacture the bottle itself. Carrying your reusable bottle is the best option.

  4. Shopping - take your own reusable bags. Keep a stash of your reusable bags (and your reusable produce bags) somewhere where you’ll remember them; like in the boot of your car or by your front door. You can also buy small fold up options for your handbags, backpacks or glovebox so you will always have an alternative to plastic.

  5. Soft plastic packaging - avoid or recycle through the REDcycle program. Soft plastic like confectionary packaging, frozen veggie and pasta bags, cereal box liners and biscuit packets are recyclable through special RED cycle bins at Coles and Woolworths. Find out more at

  6. Meat, fish and deli - avoid plastic trays and take your own containers to selected butchers and delis. Choose to refuse pre-packaged meat, fish and deli products, particularly those sold on polystyrene trays and shop around for a local butcher, fishmonger or deli-counter who sell unpackaged items.

  7. Eat real food - cutting out most processed foods can not only reduce waste but improve your health and save you money. This doesn’t mean you have to cook for hours every day - try simple food made with fresh ingredients. It will reduce the amount of plastic waste, be good for you and taste good!

  8. Say ‘No’ to plastic straws and ‘Yes’ to reusable alternative. There are many reusable options available and by doing this you will reduce one of the most common items found in our oceans, rivers and waterways. Single use straws are only used for a few minutes and can remain in our environment indefinitely.

  9. Create plastic free lunch boxes for school or work. Most people already have mastered the reusable lunch box, but what is inside the lunchbox… single use plastic packets of chips, biscuits, nuts and single use cutlery? It is easy to find substitutes for these like, beeswax wraps and different types of small containers will reduce the impact, keep food fresher and usually is cheaper so it will save you money. Wrap up cutlery from home in a napkin and place into your lunchbox.

  10. Buy loose - take your own containers to bulk stores to get plastic free groceries. Rice, pasta, cereals, oil, spices, flours, nuts, tea and chocolates are some of the common goodies available for purchase at bulk stores.

DIY ideas

“We don’t have to engage in grand heroic actions to participate in change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people can transform the world.” Howard Zinn