Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July commences on Saturday 1 July and is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution.

When thinking of plastic usage it may surprise you how much you personally use without taking notice. This month, the Plastic Free Foundation encourages us all to raise our own awareness. By taking a simple survey it’s easy to see where improvements can be made.  This could be from reducing one-time coffee cups, cling wrap on leftover food, actually using the re-useable shopping bags, avoiding purchasing pre-packaged foods and not using takeaway containers.

To look at this from another perspective, it’s also important for retail businesses to assess what options are currently available for customers to bring their own re-useable containers and how to offer more biodegradable options where packaging is required.

It is also timely to continue to put pressure on manufacturers to ensure that products provided to retailers are already in a format fit for eco-friendly consumption.

As we know, the Australian Government is fully committed to rolling out and enforcing plastic bans across all states. Planning and implementing changes can take some time, including sourcing new suppliers, placing orders with sufficient lead times for delivery, updating sustainability records and ensuring there is effective change management communications with staff and customers.

Further bans commence in the ACT from this Saturday 1 July. On 1 September additional bans will come into effect in QLD, SA, WA and VIC.

ARA members can find out more about these bans and how to prepare by visiting this comprehensive online resource at www.retail.org.au/plastics

For further information on Plastic Free July please visit: www.plasticfreejuly.org/

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