Single-use plastic is very wasteful of the environment’s resources and people in Cronulla are doing something about it. Plastic Free Cronulla is an initiative by the Cronulla Chamber of Commerce to help businesses make the decision to go plastic-free.
University student, Kal Glanznig, helped the Chamber develop their Plastic-Free Cronulla initiative after being inspired during a holiday in Noosa after finishing year 12.
“Up in Noosa they have their own ‘Plastic Free Noosa’ initiative which really had an impact on me as I could see the positive impact, not only for the environment but for the community,” he said.
“Together, we can make a real difference.”
Businesses that do not use the single-use plastic items of straws, cutlery, plastic bags, take away containers and cups in Cronulla will be promoted as Plastic-Free Champions.
“They’ll get a certificate showing they are Plastic Free Champions which they can display in their business. As a customer, you feel good knowing that the business is plastic-free and that by shopping there compared to somewhere else you are doing your bit to help the environment, so it’s a win for everyone,” Kal said.
While Plastic Free Champions are mostly targeted to food-based businesses, all businesses in Cronulla can be promoted as ‘Plastic Free Warriors’, by making simple changes in their business practices. For example, an accountancy firm may use crockery and proper cutlery when having take away meals at the office for the staff, instead of using plastic ones.
“Even a simple change can make a big difference. Many businesses are doing this already, but we are hoping to encourage even more to go plastic-free,” he said.
The Cronulla Spring Festival is going to be the first big public event that will be completely plastic-free. “We will be working with other events over the summer to go plastic-free too. AusMusic Week in Cronulla (https://australianmusicweek.com) in November will be plastic-free too.”
“Cronulla is a great place for this initiative, because it’s so close to the ocean, and people know that there is a major worldwide issue of ocean plastic. But Cronulla is a spearhead, we are really hoping many other local communities will see the benefits of being plastic-free,” he said.
You might be surprised at how many alternatives to using plastic there are, especially as this is a world-wide phenomenon as many people are wanting to change the way we all live. To help locals to discover some of the alternatives that are available for commonly used plastic items, especially straws, cups, cutlery, bags, and take away containers, a free expo will be held.
The expo will be at Rydges Cronulla on October 21 and 22 to connect local business owners with the suppliers of alternative products to things like plastic drinking straws and take away containers. There will be plastic-free solutions for everything from offices to cafes and restaurants. You can register your interest in the event at www.plasticfreecronulla.com.au. Anyone who wants to discover more about making this a plastic-free world can visit the expo. You can also find out more about becoming a Plastic Free Champion business or a Plastic Free Warrior business at the Plastic Free Cronulla website or the Cronulla Chamber of Commerce.