Discussion: Where do we start?

  1. Chris Gregory
    By taking my own bags shopping, I haven't needed to use 200 plastic ones each year.
    1. Karinda Cessnock City Council
      Fantastic! Once you establish the new behaviour its not difficult to remember. I always have reusable bags in the laundry and in my car.
  2. Amanda Gibson
    What about a rebate incentive for choosing reusable options?

    Cost is usually at the top of the list for why people choose disposable items over reusable.
    This is just 1 example of a cloth nappy and sanitary product rebate already available in some LGA's

    What you can claim
    Each household is eligible for one rebate per category. Separate applications are required for each.

    Cloth nappies – 50% of the purchase price with a maximum refund of $150. For example, spend $300 and receive a rebate of $150 or if $400 is spent the maximum returned is still $150.
    Includes cloth and swim nappies, reusable inner liner for nappies, reusable wipes, wet bags, reusable nursing breast pads

    Reusable sanitary products – 50% of the purchase price with a maximum refund of $100.
    Includes sanitary pads, sanitary cups, leak-proof underwear and wet bags
    1. Karinda Cessnock City Council
      Thanks for this suggestion. Parramatta and Penrith Councils have both recently introduced a Cloth Nappy and Reusable Sanitary Product Rebate for residents. Both Councils are trialing the rebate for a period of 12 months. We will definitely stay in contact with our colleagues at these councils to find out how successful the Rebate Schemes are in practice, in particular, whether they bring about long-term behavior change. In the meantime, would you be interested in writing an article for this blog about your experience with re-usables? Personal stories have been shown to be very effective in altering behavior. It would be great to focus on convenience, as this is likely to be a significant driver for people to choose disposables.
    2. Amanda Gibson
      Thanks for the reply,
      Yes I certainly would be happy to provide a post regarding my experience with using Cloth nappies and cloth sanitary items.
      I have not gotten any rebate and it really isn't as hard as people may think to go the cloth route!
    3. Karinda Cessnock City Council
      That's fantastic that you are happy to contribute to the blog. Would you be able to send me an email at 'environment@cessnock.nsw.gov.au' and we can discuss it in more detail?
  3. Anna B
    It's amazing to see and hear about all the good ideas people have!
  4. Denis Rothwell
    Plastics are an environmental nightmare which we have yet to fully come to terms with.
    So many soft. flexible plastics end up in landfill where they do not break down. Many people do not know yet that plastic shopping bags and all flexible plastics can be recycled in bins provided at the front of Coles and Woolworths supermarkets for this very purpose.. so you can take your plastics for recycling when you go to the supermarket to shop. This valuable service is provided by Redcycle and it is well worth having a look at their website to better understand what can be recycled there. They turn them into all sorts of useful products including outdoor furniture.
    1. Karinda Cessnock City Council
      Yes REDcycle definitely provides a valuable service and its a great option for recycling your soft plastics. Its even better though if we can make purchasing decisions that avoid us acquiring these soft plastics at all e.g. reusable shopping bags made of natural fibres that can be composted at home when they are no longer usable.
  5. Isabella Stratford
    Central Coast Council are trialing a system where participants are provided with Curby bags and tags to collect their soft plastics. The tagged bags will be placed in their yellow bin, the soft plastics will be separated and diverted from landfill and used to create other products.
    My friend is part of the trial and it has been very successful so far. I would like to see that in Cessnock.

    I also know of council areas in Sydney where food scraps are able to be placed in the green bin as this contributes to so much landfill and therefore greenhouse gas production. This is another thing that I believe should be implemented in Cessnock and would be an easy way to get the community on board with choices that are better for our planet.
    1. Karinda Cessnock City Council
      Cessnock Council is in a partnership with Maitland and Singleton Councils and have committed to expand the garden organics service to include food scheduled March 2024 (at the latest), aligning with the construction of the processing facility.
      Soft plastics recycling is currently accessible through REDcycle at most local Coles and Woolworths shopping centres however, we are watching the Central Coast trial closely and hoping it might be an option for our community in the near future. Assessing the feasibility of expanding local opportunities to recover soft plastics is an action included in Council’s Waste & Resource Recovery Strategy for 2020-2025. I hope this helps. Please let me know if you would like further information or you hear of other great ideas.