Monday, 06 July 2020 10:41

Ditch single-use plastics this July

Three women enjoying coffee in reusable cups. Three women enjoying coffee in reusable cups. Image: WSROC

Media release, 6 July 2020

It’s something we do automatically, accepting an extra plastic bag, picking up a disposable fork or forgetting to take reusable alternatives when out and about. This month, councils in Western Sydney are taking up the Plastic Free July challenge, with the goal of reducing widespread use of single-use plastics in the region.

As part of ongoing waste initiatives, WSROC is coordinating engagement across the region, with six participating councils committed to making inroads for better sustainability practices and environmental outcomes.

Plastic Free July is a highly successful project, based in Australia, with an estimated 250 million people worldwide taking up the challenge to reduce single-use plastics in their daily lives in 2019. On average, participants reduced their household waste by almost 5 per cent (or 23kg).

Less auspiciously, Australia is amongst the world’s top 10 highest producers of waste in the world, per capita. On average, only 10 per cent of plastic we consume in NSW each year is recycled; Australia consumes 3.4 million tonnes of plastic every year.

While there is definitely work to be done, WSROC President, Cllr Barry Calvert, said Western Sydney residents had shown keen engagement with previous waste reducing initiatives - including campaigns targeting litter and cigarette butts in public spaces, and the Green Caffeen coffee cup program - with impressive results.

“Western Sydney residents care for their environment and preserving the diverse urban landscapes in which we live. WSROC programs have shown that our communities love a waste-reducing challenge, and Plastic Free July is one that links every one of us to other participants right across the world.

“There are many ways for all of us to take on the single-use challenge. Start by looking for where waste occurs at home, at work, at school, out and about – and try making a different choice,” said Cllr Calvert.

“Taking simple action in everyday life has a powerful impact on reducing waste. I am looking forward to finding out new ways to reduce waste throughout the month,” he said.

Councils participating in the Western Sydney campaign - including Cumberland, Fairfield, The Hills, Hawkesbury, Parramatta and Penrith – will feature news and participatory activities throughout the month, including waste-reducing tips, resources and events. You can sign up and participate at and find out more at the Plastic Free July website.


This project is a NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, Waste Less Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.

Media contact: Kate O’Connell and Kelly Gee, 02 9671 4333, 0425 871 868 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last modified on Tuesday, 15 September 2020 10:56

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