Going plastic free and reducing the waste that is produced and improving the environmental impact could be easier than you think.

Council is proposing to make changes regarding the disposal items that are used in Council facilities, leases, hires and events.

What are these proposed changes?

Council is banning ban single use plastic products at all Council Facilities from 1 January 2021. These products include disposal coffee cups, plastic straws, plastic takeaway containers and many more. Single use plastic items are generally only used a couple times before having to be disposed of. Council is phasing out these items by January 2021.

What are single use plastics made of?

Single use plastics are primarily made from fossil fuel-based chemicals (petrochemicals) and are meant to be disposed of immediately after use. Most single use plastics end up in landfills, oceans, waterways and the environment. Plastics are non-bio gradable. Instead, they breakdown into smaller pieces of plastics called microplastics. These plastics that are discarded into the environment, not only cause environmental impacts and damages but it also harms our wildlife. Did you know, according to the United Nations environment the most common single-use plastics found in the environment (in order of magnitude) are:

  • Plastic drinking bottles
  • Plastic bottle caps
  • Food wrappers
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Plastic lids
  • Straws and stirrers
  • Other types of plastic bags
  • Foam take- away containers

What can we do about it?

Every improving step can make a difference and can present a positive culture for the future of our environment and children. As a Community, we need to take these steps together. It may be hard to adapt to new changes, however, if we all work together, we can support each other in the transition and make a difference.

Here are some ideas:

  • Use cloth or reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags
  • Bring your own coffee mug and avoid establishments that don’t offer non-plastic options.
  • Avoid non-recycled plastic bottles and plastic straws
  • Support the efforts of organisations and agencies that try to reduce single use plastic
  • Bring your own takeaway containers or support establishments that use recyclable takeout options
  • Get familiar with and know what is and isn’t recyclable in your town.

What is  a plastic free alternative?

  • Stainless steel, bamboo, pasta or rice straws
  • Sugarcane containers
  • Beeswax wrapping
  • Cloth bags  

Did you know the recycling options that are available to you in Katherine?

Waste Management Facility

  • Drum Muster
  • Tyre Stewardship Australia
  • Car batteries
  • Scrap Metal 
  • Oil
  • Tech Collect (E-Waste)
  • Mobile Muster 

MT Bins

  • Scrap Metal 
  • Cash for glass, plastic bottles and cans

Girl Guides Katherine

  • 10c Containers
  • Batteries
  • Contact lenses packaging
  • Dishwashing liquid containers
  • Light bulbs
  • Old socks
  • Printer cartridges
  • Toothbrushes & toothpaste/floss containers
  • Air freshener containers
  • Bread tags
  • Dishwashing tablet packaging
  • E-waste
  • Material scraps
  • Plastic bottle caps
  • Soft plastics
  • Writing Instruments

Need some help?

If you are excited by these suggestions and are looking for more ways to reduce your plastic footprint or want a one-stop shop for single use plastic replacements.

Council has developed a Single Use Plastic Toolkit.

The toolkit features a self-audit, the self-audit is designed to identify the level of usage of these plastics and where alternatives can be used. The toolkit will also include information regarding the available recycling options here in Katherine.

You can download your Single Use Plastic Toolkit here.

Lets talk....

Has your business started switching to reusable items, if so we would love to hear your story?

What single use plastic items do you find the hardest to stop using?

Make the switch for our environment and our future!