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Rumbalara Environmental Education Centre

Rumbalara Environmental Education Centre

Telephone02 4324 7200


Plastic bags & wrappers

In the marine environment, plastic bag litter is lethal, killing at least 100,000 birds, whales, seals and turtles every year. When the dead animal decays, the plastic bags are freed to be re-ingested by other animals for many years to come.

A person's use of a plastic check-out bag can be counted in minutes – however long it takes to get from the shops to their homes. Plastic bags, however, can take between 15 and 1000 years to break down in the environment.

At least 80 million plastic bags end up as litter on our beaches, streets and parks. Australian local and State Governments spend over $200 million a year picking up litter.

What can we do?

  • say no to plastic bags

  • review / prepare a purchasing policy for the canteen. Purchase products in bulk or request suppliers minimise packaging or use recyclable packaging.

  • promote waste friendly lunch at school

  • purchase and regularly use reusable bags Cloth bags are better as the Go Green bags are made of polypropylene and are not biodegradable.

  • make and sell cloth bags with your groups design

  • if you rely on using plastic bags as bin liners you can purchase biodegradable bags from most supermarkets for wholesale, bulk purchases.

  • consider a campaign to make your town a plastic bag free zone. Visit the Planet Ark website to find out how.

  • learn about where plastic comes from and consider the life-cycle/cradle-grave issues associated with plastic.