People Go Plastic-Free as Australian State Ban Looms

Western Australian government's ban on the single-use plastic bags is another positive step towards eco-friendliness and a better recycling process.

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Single-use plastic bags with food items in them. Credit: Flickr

Western Australian citizens are grasping the age-old problem of doing away with plastic in their lives as a July 1 ban kicks in, banning the use of single-use plastic bags for good.

Residents are taking a step by step approach to downgrading their dependence on plastic one product at a time.

The issue has become more of a lifestyle issue for some families as lightweight single-use plastic bags will be banned statewide in Western Australia, in line with bans in South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital Territory.

Those that are already shedding plastic from their lives say that it is a pragmatic, slow approach. This includes cups, straws,  plates, cling wrap, containers and plastic packaging for all manner of products.

One resident Lindsay Miles cut out plastic six years ago and achieved her aim a few years later.

She aims to buy second-hand to avoid plastic packaging and now makes most of her food, buying local produce when she can.

Meanwhile, Hannah Thomas has been sticking to a New Year’s promise to use less plastic. That includes growing her own vegetables and herbs.

She commented the family has ditched plastic straws for steel ones and no longer puts packaged foods in her children’s lunchboxes

“It’s actually a lot easier than you probably think,” she said.

Jeannie Richardson, co-owner of The Wasteless Pantry, in Mundaring, said people lived with much less single-use plastic 40 or 50 years ago.

“It wasn’t always like this. There is a way, and it doesn’t have to be difficult and it doesn’t have to be expensive,” she said.

“Choose one thing, look at what’s in your bin and pick an item and think, ‘OK, how can I get rid of that this week’.” And then repeat!