Be a Plastic Free Champion

Choices: Prime Minister Scott Morrison joins with the Cronulla Chamber of Commerce members to promote the Plastic free Expo on October 21,22. Picture John Veage
Choices: Prime Minister Scott Morrison joins with the Cronulla Chamber of Commerce members to promote the Plastic free Expo on October 21,22. Picture John Veage

"Plastic free" is a phrase that's easy to say but a lot harder to do, and even though it might shock young people, that's how a lot of older Australians used to quite happily live their lives.

Milk was delivered in glass bottles that were cleaned and reused by the milko, soft drink was also dropped off and the empties collected at your door, takeaway was wrapped in newspaper which was also used to line your rubbish bin and shopping was done with string bags and pull trolleys.

Life was a lot different and you were lucky if you had a TV and you had to use the telephone on the street corner. Fresh bread was sold from the back of a van and you bought paper bags of lollies from the corner shop.

So in many ways, "plastic free" has all been done before.

Plastic Free Cronulla is an initiative by the Cronulla Chamber of Commerce to help businesses make the decision to use less plastic like we did before.

This year they partnered with the Cronulla Spring Festival to make that event single-use plastic free -with great results.

They used the Spring Fair to promote a Plastic Free Expo which will be held at Rydges Cronulla on October 21 and 22 to help local business owners and the community find alternatives to their plastic usage.

There will be food, music and keynote speakers who will offer plastic free solutions to everything from offices to cafes, and at home.

As well as the expo, which Cronulla MP Mark Speakman mentioned in State Parliament on September 17, Plastic Free Cronulla are also starting a "Plastic Free Champion" accreditation which promotes businesses to the community that do not use the single-use plastic items of straws, cutlery, plastic bags, take away containers and cups.

President of the Cronulla Chamber, Mark Aprilovic, said the aim of the "Plastic Free Cronulla Expo" on October 21 and 22 at Rydges Cronulla, is to provide alternative plastic free products with cost competitive suppliers for local shire businesses and consumers.

"I believe we have a morally conscious responsibility to the environment and future generations, to make a positive change," Mr Aprilovic said.

"So, as a local business or consumer, please join us and discover alternative products available. Also inform us if you have additional needs not satisfied by products available, so we can work with suppliers on solutions."

Plastic Free Cronulla's Kal Glanznigsaid businesses will get a certificate showing they are a Plastic Free Champion which they can display in their shop or office.

"As a customer, you feel good knowing that the business is plastic free, so it's a win for everyone," Mr Glanznigsaid

"We want all businesses in Cronulla to get involved, and if they cannot remove all 5 of the above items they can still be promoted as Plastic Free Warriors by making simple changes in their business practices and sharing it with us.

"For example, an accountancy firm may use crockery and proper cutlery when having takeaway meals at the office for the staff, instead of using plastic ones.

"Even a simple change can make a big difference. Many businesses are doing this already, but we are hoping to encourage even more to go plastic free.

"Cronulla is a great place for this initiative, because it's so close to the ocean, and people know that there is a major worldwide issue of ocean plastic. But Cronulla is a spearhead, we are really hoping many other local communities will see the benefits of being plastic free,"

You can register your interest for the event on plasticfreecronulla.com.au or stay updated on Plastic Free Cronulla's Facebook and Instagram page @plasticfreecronulla.