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Plasticwise Taroona

Plasticwise Taroona is one year old - Message from Sarah

Posted 31 May 2018

One year ago today, Plasticwise Taroona was born! We started with just a post on Facebook and an empty fabric donation box set up at the Picnic Basket cafe, and look how far we've come since then :)

I've been doing a bit of a stock take on everything we have achieved over the last 12 months, and thought I'd list a few things here just to remind us all how great we are! Every one of you has been involved in at least one of these projects to some extent, so a huge thank you for all of your support.

  • So far, we have made over 1100 reusable cloth bags from recycled materials, involving at least 2000 hours of volunteer time. This project has also given a new life to over 200kgs of scrap fabric and linen, keeping a lot of this out of landfill. 
  • We have worked with a number of wonderful shops and supermarkets to go plastic bag free (yay Hill Street Grocer, Philadelphia Bakers and Mountain Creek Outdoors!), which has already saved over 685,000 plastic bags from ending up in landfill and our oceans so far. We have also set up a community bag library at Hydro Tasmania for their staff who shop in town. 
  • We have worked with four cafes to transition to reusable stainless steel straws (yay Ginger Brown Cafe, Honey Brown Cafe and Brooke Street Larder! Extra kudos for Hamlet Hobart who were already using paper straws :)). I am still collecting statistics on the number of plastic straws this project will save from landfill and our oceans, but rough estimates indicate it will be around 30,000 plastic straws per year (!!). 
  • We have spoken to hundreds of school students about reducing waste and the solutions to plastic pollution, including at Princes Street Primary, Lenah Valley Primary, Taroona Primary and Taroona High. 
  • Thanks to a grant from Huon Aquaculture and our wonderful volunteers, over 100 Taroona Primary students have made reusable beeswax wraps for their lunches, to replace plastic cling wrap and zip lock bags. Many students have been using them every day since (and we have more workshops to come)!
  • We have picked up over 2000 pieces of litter and #plasticpollution from around our local school grounds, and recorded it all in the Tangaroa Blue Marine Debris database. 
  • We've run successful events, including yoga for the oceans and a screening of A Plastic Ocean to around 100 people, with Hill Street Grocer providing plastic free snacks! 
  • Thanks to the Resource Coop, we've set up a reusable collection of cups, plates and cutlery for members of our community to borrow for one-off events. In its short life, this little collection has already saved around 300 plastic disposable cups from ending up in landfill!
  • We were also a semi-finalist in the Tasmanian Community Achievement awards in 2017 :)
Happy birthday to us! Come along and celebrate with us on Monday night - 4 June 2018, from 6:30pm at the Picnic Basket cafe. We will have snacks and some activities to keep us all entertained :)
 
31 May 2018
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What's happening?

Time for another update on our projects, but first for some exciting news. 
 
On Monday, the Kingborough Council voted to ban single use plastics at council events! The ban will be phased in over 12 months and will include polystyrene food containers, single use plastic cups, cutlery, straws and packaging. 
 
The ban will also include balloons, which is causing some media interest! As you can imagine, we fully support the inclusion of balloons in the ban, as although balloons are often made out of latex and are marketed as 'biodegradable', they do not break down quickly. Particularly at outdoor  events, latex and other balloons can easily blow away and when they end up in the ocean they can cause harm to wildlife such as turtles and sea birds.   
 
This is a bold and brave step by the Kingborough Council, which will reduce the amount of litter and plastic waste in our community. We are also now part of an exciting movement - many councils across Australia are implementing single use plastic bans as we speak, including Hobart City Council, the Bassendean Council (WA), Darebin (VIC), Cottesloe (WA), balloon bans in Sydney, Lithgow and Ryde (NSW) and most recently the Brisbane City Council has just banned straws and plastic bottles at council events! 
 
Thanks to the councillors who voted in favour of this ban, and to all the staff at the council who have been working hard on waste reduction projects :) 
 
On another note, we ran our second workshop with Taroona Primary School students last week - around 80 students came along and made a beeswax wrap each for their lunchbox! A huge thanks to our beeswax wrap making pro Milly, and to Megan for lining everything up. Word on the street is that the students have been loving the wraps and using them every day (apparently they also make quite good paper aeroplanes!) :)
 
We are are also working with the Kingborough Council to run bees wax wrap workshops for grown ups - our first session on 23 June has already sold out! We will keep you posted on when the next one will be. 
 
That is all for today, but I hope to see you soon! Perhaps at our next bag making workshop on Monday 21 May, from 6:30pm at the Picnic Basket cafe? :)

 

Plasticwise Taroona

A small group of Taroona residents are creating Tasmania’s first bag library!

Bag libraries reduce the use of plastic bags by providing people with a free, fun, sustainable alternative – a bag made out of recycled materials, sewn by volunteers from the community.

This is just the beginning! Taroona is now part of a grassroots initiative gaining momentum around the world to reduce the use of plastic bags, one bag at a time.

Here is how you can be involved:

  • Spread the word!
  • Join the Plasticwise Taroona Facebook Page and keep up to date with the news
  • Donate material and thread. Second-hand materials are suitable for making bags (we can make bags out of anything, I promise you - curtains, linen, pillow cases, t-shirts, trousers etc etc). There is a box at the Picnic Basket Cafe for donated materials.
  • Help us make bags by coming along to a sewing bee at the Picnic Basket Cafe. No sewing skills required! We need people with a whole range of skills to cut, sew, pin, iron and screen print. This project is not just about bags, but about getting together as a community to do something positive, create and learn from each other.

Hill Street Grocer

Did you know that.... Hill Street Grocer currently gives away over 1.7 million plastic bags each year. Through our work facilitating and supporting Hill Street to go plastic bag free from 1 November 2017, we have stopped this enormous flow of plastic bags from ending up in landfill and our oceans - every year into the future! So thank you to EVERYONE who has helped us so far (cutting, sewing, ironing, printing, emailing, spreading the word, trawling social media with me etc etc) - we couldn't have achieved any of this without you.

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