This World Environment Day, Taronga Western Plains Zoo is encouraging the local community to help beat plastic pollution by making one change at home or at work.
Plastic pollution is a challenging environmental problem that is set to nearly double in the next decade if buying behaviour of single-use plastic doesn’t change.
Plastic pollution has a devastating effect on our environment especially our waterways and oceans, killing thousands of marine animals and birds every year.
“According to the United Nations, 50% of consumer plastics are single-use and it can take over 100 years for some plastics to degrade in the environment,” said Taronga Green member, Rebecca Hobbs.
“We need to change our thinking and look at creating good habits; refuse single-use plastics and opt for no packaging, or use reusable and recyclable items”.
“At the Zoo we are working towards reducing our plastic usage as well as assisting visitors to do so. We have installed water bottle refill stations and more recycling bins in the Zoo grounds.”
“A number of changes have been made at Bakhita’s Café over the past 18 months to reduce our single-use plastic waste, including the introduction of paper straws, paper milkshake cups, removing plastic sauce packages from sale, having pies, sausage rolls and sandwiches without a plastic wrapping and offering bamboo cutlery and biodegradable packaging for takeaways.”
“We are trying to lead by example and encourage members of the local community to think twice about purchasing or using single-use plastics. If everyone made one or two changes at home or work, it would have a positive impact on the environment by reducing the amount of waste we produce every year,” said Rebecca.
Ways everyone can help to beat plastic pollution in their own home:
- Take reusable bags when you go shopping or do the groceries.
- Buy loose fruit and vegetables rather than pre-packaged or using plastic bags.
- Buy in bulk.
- Use and refill a water bottle rather than buying bottled water.
- Use a reusable cup when buying a takeaway coffee.
- Refuse plastic straws.
- Use glass or metal containers for storing food rather than plastic food bags or cling film.
- If you must use plastic, always recycle it if it can’t be reused.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is located in Dubbo in Central Western NSW, and is open every day of the year from 9.00am - 4pm.