This lesson explores how single-use plastics are harmful for the environment and provides ideas about reusable options.
Single-use plastic includes all plastic packaging that is intended only to be used once, then discarded. Reducing waste by avoiding single-use plastic fits into the avoidance section of the waste hierarchy. Single-use plastics are often difficult to recycle, so these can end up in landfill where they may never break down.
Changing our habits to avoid using single-use plastics is a great way to start reducing the amount of plastic entering our environment. Many people ‘choose to refuse’ single-use plastics such as bottled water, drinking straws and plastic shopping bags. Options such as reusable water bottles, metal or paper straws, and reusable bags are becoming more common.
In 2017, Keep Australia Beautiful and the Tangaroa Blue Australian Marine Debris Initiative reported that more than 75 per cent of the rubbish collected on Western Australian beaches was plastic.