Cling wrap and disposable coffee cups will make way for sustainable alternatives at Dubbo next week in a bold bid to protect the planet.
Plastic Free July will kick off with keen support from Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s ‘green team’.
Its passionate members have encouraged colleagues to take up the challenge to cut the amount of plastic they use in their lives.
One of the people leading the charge is keeper Karen James, for whom plastic-free has become a way of life.
She’s encouraging people to make swaps to sustainable alternatives, even if they start small.
“That’s the good thing about plastic-free July, it gives people a glimpse into what they can do and what little steps they can take and hopefully the idea being they can take those steps after July and continue them,” she said.
“So it’s about creating good behaviours and habits with people.”
As a result of the challenge, some zoo staff have pledged not to use cling wrap, plastic straws, single-use water bottles and disposable coffee cups.
“So by making that little pledge, hopefully they can start and follow through after July,” Ms James said.
The endeavour has spread beyond the zoo as well.
Daily Liberal journalist Jennifer Hoar has accepted the challenge put to her by Ms James.
“So I’m going to be giving up five things - plastic drink bottles, take-away cups, plastic cutlery, plastic straws and single-use plastic bags,” Ms Hoar said.
The rookie Plastic Free July participant has been forming a plan of attack.
“Initially I was fairly confident, I feel like I’m already pretty good at not using a lot of plastic, but as it gets closer, it’s a little bit more intimidating and I think I will probably struggle more than I initially thought,” Ms Hoar said.
“But that’s a good thing, I think, it probably highlights how much plastic pervades our lives.
“And hopefully me doing the challenge and sharing that with the people of Dubbo will raise a bit more awareness and maybe make other people think a bit more about their plastic use.”