Exciting News for Victoria
It is great to see that the Victorian Government has announced a plan to ban some single use plastics as soon as February 2023! Government agencies will need to remove the problematic plastics even sooner by February 2022.
What plastics will be banned?
Cotton bud sticks
Expanded polystyrene food and drink containers.
This is great news for the environment as these items end up in landfill or our waterways after only being used for such a short time. This change will be more difficult for some than others and the Victorian Government has agreed to work with stakeholders on developing a plan to enact this ban. Visit their website for more information as it unfolds:
As a consumer using these items, now is the time to set yourself up with a little re-usable kit for when you're dining out or on the run. And why wait until Feb 2023, you can start now. Here are my tips on what to use instead:
Buy a set of metal straws - usually they come in a set of 4 which is enough to keep one in the car, one in your bag and enough spare to rotate in the wash. Get a set that includes a cleaner. I find simply rinsing with water after each use and washing each day (if used) as you would your other cutlery works well.
Or here's a novel idea - don't use a straw. Besides those people who may need a straw to safely swallow their drinks, most of us don't actually need straws. And the most environmentally friendly way to replace straws, is not to use one.
If Covid restrictions allow then I'd suggest visiting your local thrift shop and getting yourself a set of metal cutlery. You really only need a spoon, butter knife and fork. To make it easy to carry this around with you, why not create a foldable pocket from an old tea towel, or skip the sewing and just wrap it up with an old ribbon like I have below? Or you could find a reusable container to fit them in, this will be handy to store your dirty cutlery after you've used it.
Plates or Food Containers
Firm reusable plastic plates are a good option. I'd say buy them from your local thrift shop, but I've had no luck trying to find any in a decent condition. If you can find them, then don't hesitate to grab them! Alternatively, I can recommend Replay plates and cups. The Replay range is made in the USA from BPA and BPS free #2 HDPE recycled plastic and is freezer and top rack dishwasher safe. I've used them for my daughter and LOVE them. Buy them from Little Earth Nest and support a local shop too (if you're a Victorian).
If you've got your reusable straw or reusable cutlery you won't need a stirrer - easy.
Cotton Bud Sticks
Use a washcloth or cotton balls not on sticks. Note: you shouldn't be using cotton bud sticks to put in your ears! Ever.