Plastic-Free Living, Debunked!

Sunday, 11 Jul, 2021

Despite our beautiful coastlines, Australia has a problem with plastic.


In Australia 130,000 tonnes of plastic leak into our ocean each year and one million tonnes of our country’s annual plastic consumption is single-use plastic – plastics that are used for a few short minutes but that have far-reaching consequences to the environment and human health. The need for action against plastic pollution has never been more urgent.

What can you do?

Avoiding problematic plastics is the simplest way to reduce waste plastic and pollution.  

We understand it can be confusing and overwhelming with all the information about how best to reduce your plastic footprint, so here are 10 easy-to-implement ways to go plastic-free for the ocean. 

 Minimise takeaways and watch the single-use plastics fade away. Opt to “dine in”. Have your coffee in a mug and enjoy some quiet time indoors.

Create a “plastic-free trip out kit” and leave it in the car, or in a bag at all times. The kit consists of plastic free cutlery, bag, cup and straw. Make one up for your husband, girlfriend, kids, grandma...etc. If you end up using the items, wash them up and then straight back into the kit bag or car (or wherever else you store this) to be used over and over.

Spend your money wisely - try local farmers markets and bulk food stores who tend to advocate for less packaging. Invest in reusables – swap a single-use plastic coffee cup and lid for a KeepCup, buy a Stainless Steel water bottle and never buy water in a single-use plastic bottle again, BYO reusable shopping bags and say no to plastic straws by purchasing a metal straw you can reuse time and time again. 

A reusable KeepCup can be used time and time again.

Only purchase what you need. In a world of excess, we’re often torn with thoughts like, “I’ll just get one more”, or “just in case”. Try to purchase sparingly and only take what you need. The planet will thank you for being so kind.

Forget about plastic vegetable (barrier) bags – opt to go without or even better, grab yourself some reusable produce bags. Or, make your own - there are heaps of online tutorials to show you how, or just use a lightweight reusable bag.

Go along to a beach clean-up. You’ll meet like-minded people who also care about the issue of plastic pollution and help stem the tide. Every piece of plastic you pick up is important because it prevents it from ending up in the ocean or accidentally being eaten or becoming entangled by an innocent sea creature. Sea Shepherd’s Marine Debris Campaign hosts clean-ups all around Australia! Browse our events calendar for a clean-up near you.

Our Sea Shepherd Marine Debris Campaign beach clean-ups are family-friendly and a great way to make a positive impact for the ocean.

Reuse, reuse, reuse. If you’ve got a jar or food container, you can get a lot of use out of it.   

Share your knowledge and encourage others. Have a plastic-free picnic or afternoon tea with your friends and family and tackle the topic over lunch! 

Use plastic-free alternatives like stainless steel containers or jars for a picnic.

Make these plastic free habits convenient for yourself, don’t try to do everything all at once. Otherwise, you’ll find it overwhelming and you’ll end up feeling like you’ve failed! Take your time and see how you go, and make tweaks until it fits right with your lifestyle. We’re all different and so are our plastic-free lives - try not to compare yourself to others!

Actions speak louder than words and you’re the best advertisement for plastic-free living. Follow the above steps, find your plastic-free rhythm, and inspire others.

BONUS – Sea Shepherd has some great friendly reminder door hangers, that anyone can print off to remind themselves to grab reusables before leaving the house!

With marine life the innocent victims of society’s addiction to plastic, there is no better time to give these tips a go! 

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