We are all aware of the long-term damage plastics, in particular single-use plastics like coffee cups, bags and bottles, are having on our environment. Throughout July, we will be inspiring our residents, schools and workplaces to take what might be the first step towards reducing the amount of plastics in their daily lives. No matter where you are on your journey, there will be something to help you on your way. All free and online.
Plastic free life workshop
Tue 14 July, 12-1.30pm
Join us as we look at ways to eliminate household plastic from our lives by suggesting alternatives to commonly used products. Includes a live demonstration on how to make safe, beeswax-infused food wraps. Delivered via Zoom webinar. Book now.
Date/time to come...
In the center of the Pacific Ocean gyre researchers found more plastic than plankton. Watch this thrilling and eye-opening film as it follows a documentary filmmaker and her discovery of the world's oceans brimming with plastic waste and the ensuing investigation of its far-reaching environmental impacts.
Share your stories and WIN
Whether you have started carrying a reusable drink bottle or Keep Cup, or are more ambitious and make your own household cleaning products or beeswax wraps - we want to hear about it!
How to enter
Post your 'Plastic-free life' changes on the relevant post on our Facebook page or post a photo in the comments. Every Friday in July we will draw one random winner from the entries. Winners will receive a $100 voucher to one of four Better Business Partners below who are striving to operate their businesses sustainably in Ku-ring-gai.
Week 1 Voucher
GoForFit is a personal training business run by Anja Lineen that provides a range of bespoke group fitness classes across the Ku-ring-gai LGA. The business utilises both indoor and outdoor spaces for its fitness classes and is expanding its services to include tailored wellness workshops. GoForFit uses minimal energy and water in its operations and produces almost no waste. Anja is an advocate for eradicating plastic and encourages all her customers to BYO to her classes.
Week 2 voucher
Sudu Hair is a boutique salon in Roseville and in 2018 won the Better Business Peoples Choice Award & was a Retail & Specialty shop finalist. Sudu Hair exemplifies sustainability in action as they integrate the sustainability philosophy in everything they do. They are committed to minimising plastic in their business from upcycling buttons as a feature wall to only using reusable crockery and cutlery. They extend this to their customers by taking back hair care containers for recycling and offering retail products in classified food grade packaging so customers can reuse it for food storage.
Week 3 voucher
Brick Lane Espresso is a progressive café in West Pymble that includes sustainability in their operations without even realising it! In business for only 2 years, the owner Nick Maoudis has implemented sustainability initiatives such as replacing plastic cutlery with bamboo, using eco coffee trays and biodegradable straws and selling branded keep cups to replace single use coffee cups.
Week 4 voucher (to be announced)
Start your journey now
Please scroll below for a great list of ideas to reduce, reuse and recycle your way to a sustainble lifestyle!
#bye-bye plastic #helloBYO
Bye-bye plastic is a joint initiative of Ku-ring-gai, North Sydney and Willoughby Councils to encourage residents to reduce their use of single-use plastic. So Make a Pledge today or #SNAP a shopper or local business doing their bit and post it to Facebook.
Your plastic-free tips
We want your ideas on live your best plastic-free life, from using metal straws, baking your own crackers, to sewing produce bags. Share them now!
Read the latest tips from residents.
Top tips for living with less plastic:
- Carry your own reusable bottle and cup.
- Take your own shopping bags.
- Visit the farmers market.
- Skip the plastic produce bags.
- Say no to disposable straws and cutlery.
- Store food in glass containers.
Visit a Responsible Cafe
Responsible Cafés will offer you a discount for bringing your own cup. Council's Better Business Partnership is engaging our own local businesses to reduce single-use coffee cups.
Current Ku-ring-gai cafes offering the discount:
- Gordon: Little Gem Café
- Gordon: Pure Brew Co
- Gordon: Bakerie
- Gordon: Buds & Beans
- Lindfield: Bella Blue Cafe
- Lindfield: The Runaway Spoon
- Lindfield: De'Lish Food Store
- East Lindfield: That Great Market
- East Lindfield: Deli in the Park
- St Ives: Rosedale Cottage
- St Ives: Eden Cafe
- Pymble: Jack & Co
- Pymble: Harry & Piers
- Turramurra: La Stazione
- Wahroonga: Danes
- West Pymble: Ku-ring-gai Aquatic Centre
Visit our Lifestyle page to discover a range of resources on natural cleaning, beauty products and how to make your own alternative to cling wrap with Beeswax Wraps.
Bulk food stores
Take your own container or use the paper bags supplied to purchase a range of pantry staples at bulk food stores in St Ives, Warringah Mall, Chatswood, Cammeray, Crows Nest, Lane Cove, Rhodes and Willoughby.
Plastic in our parks and open spaces
Please note the use of plastic confetti or similar products is prohibited in our parks and open spaces. Check out this video for a DIY natural confetti alternative.
Furniture and goods
Bower’s Collection and Rehoming Service takes unwanted goods and recycles or turns them into reusable items. A free collection service is available to Ku-ring-gai residents.
For anything the Bower can't accept The Bower Reuse Tool provides options for reuse organisations in your area, how to dispose of items sustainably or repair options.
Please email email@example.com for more information on the tool and their repair workshops.
Free reusable bags
Look out for Boomerang Bags at your local supermarket or farmers market. A community initiative bringing volunteer sewers together to make freely available, reusable bags out of recycled materials.
Test your knowledge with Ku-ring-gai's Recycle Right Quiz and receive a handy cloth jute bag to start your plastic free journey.
By repairing and maintaining the items in our homes, we can keep them functioning longer. You will also have other options, like donation or resale, instead of adding them to landfill.
The Repair Cafe is a fabulous local initiative where you can take your broken items for volunteers to repair. The Sydney North Branch meets the 1st and 2nd Sundays of each month.
Visit Waste and Recycling for everything about recycling in Ku-ring-gai.
The 'What Goes In Which Bin' page has a great breakdown of exactly what can go into your recycling bins in Kur-ring-gai. Every Council is slightly different.
Additional Recycling lists the more unusual items like bikes, globes, mattresses and more...
Confused about which plastics to put in your yellow bin? A good rule of thumb is if it's rigid, hard plastic from the kitchen, laundry or bathroom (eg. shampoo, detergent bottles, meat trays), pop it in the yellow bin. If it's scrunchable, soft plastic (see below), it goes with your plastic shopping bags to be dropped at the supermarket. Toys need to go to the charity store.
Did you know as well as your plastic supermarket bags - bread and nappy bags, pasta and chip packets, zip lock bags, frozen food and biscuit wrappers can be included too!
Redcycle will tell you more and where to find your nearest supermarket for recycling. Lindfield, Turramurra, Chatswood and Hornsby supermarkets now offer specialty soft plastic recycling.
Glass bottles and jars (from jams, condiments, drinks etc) can be recycled via your kerbside collection.
Toughened glass such as drinking glasses, ceramics, plate glass (window panes) and oven-proof glass/pyrex cannot be recycled via your kerbside recycling services. They melt at a higher temperature than normal glass bottles and jars. As little as 15 grams of this non-acceptable glass per tonne can result in valuable glass being unable to be recycled!
Preparing glass bottles and jars for recycling:
- Remove lids or caps, but no need to remove paper labels.
- Rinse jars and empty bottles. To conserve water, wash bottles and jars in used dishwater or in a bucket with other recyclables
- Ensure that the bottles and jars are empty and dry
The National Television and Recycling Scheme provides multiple locations for you to recycle TV's, computer, printers, electric cables and more.
Tech Collect are a not-for-profit organisation managing e-waste for a range of leading technology manufacturers and importers.
Batteries are the most common form of household hazardous waste. If recycled, 95% of the components can be turned into new batteries or used in other industries.
Collect and drop off your batteries at the Gordon Library or a range of supermarkets and stores. CleanUp Australia has all the info.
Microbeads are tiny plastic particles that are added to personal care products. They are commonly used to scrub the skin or clean your teeth but once washed down the drain can be harmful to our rivers and waterways. 'Microbeads' is a marketing term introduced by the cosmetic industry and they are mainly made of Polyethylene (PE). Beat the Microbeads is an organisation trying to increase awareness of what we are purchasing in our cosmetics.
Saving our waterways
The Take3 initiative is spreading the plastic-free message and it's impact on our oceans and waterways.
Chemicals including solvents and chemical cleaners, paints, batteries, light bulbs, bug spray aerosols, poisons, motor oils, fire extinguishers and other dangerous substances should not be placed in recycling or rubbish bins. All can be dropped of at our regular free Chemical Clean Out event at St Ives show ground, keep an eye out for the next one.
Stay in touch
Keep up to date with our latest environmental news, programs and events:
Subscribe to our monthly sustainability e-newsletter
Subscribe to our What's on calendar via email every 6 months