Living plastic free
Plastic Free July is an annual initiative that is working towards a world free of plastic waste.
You can start small. Download the Plastic Free July action picker(PDF, 86KB) or take some simple actions now:
- Carry your own reusable bottle and cup.
- Keep a fold up shopping bag with you.
- Skip the plastic produce bags.
- Say no to disposable straws and cutlery.
- Store food in glass containers.
Start your journey now
See below a great list of ideas to reduce, reuse and recycle your way to a sustainable lifestyle.
Visit our Lifestyle page to discover a range of resources on natural cleaning, beauty products and how to make your own alternative to cling wrap with beeswax wraps.
Bulk food stores
Take your own container or use the paper bags supplied to purchase a range of pantry staples at bulk food stores in St Ives, Warringah Mall, Chatswood, Cammeray, Crows Nest, Lane Cove, Rhodes and Willoughby.
Plastic in our parks and open spaces
Please note the use of plastic confetti or similar products is prohibited in our parks and open spaces. Check out this video for a DIY natural confetti alternative.
Furniture and goods
Bower’s Collection and Rehoming Service takes unwanted goods and recycles or turns them into reusable items. A free collection service is available to Ku-ring-gai residents.
For anything the Bower can't accept The Bower Reuse Tool provides options for reuse organisations in your area, how to dispose of items sustainably or repair options.
Please email email@example.com for more information on the tool and their repair workshops.
Free reusable bags
Look out for Boomerang Bags at your local supermarket or farmers market. A community initiative bringing volunteer sewers together to make freely available, reusable bags out of recycled materials.
By repairing and maintaining the items in our homes, we can keep them functioning longer. You will also have other options, like donation or resale, instead of adding them to landfill.
The Repair Cafe is a fabulous local initiative where you can take your broken items for volunteers to repair. The Sydney North Branch meets the 1st and 2nd Sundays of each month.
Visit Waste and Recycling for everything about recycling in Ku-ring-gai.
'What goes in your recycling bins' is a great breakdown of exactly what can go into your recycling bins in Kur-ring-gai. Every Council is slightly different.
Additional Recycling lists the more unusual items like bikes, globes, mattresses and more...
Confused about which plastics to put in your yellow bin? A good rule of thumb is if it's rigid, hard plastic from the kitchen, laundry or bathroom (eg. shampoo, detergent bottles, meat trays), pop it in the yellow bin. If it's scrunchable, soft plastic (see below), it goes with your plastic shopping bags to be dropped at the supermarket. Toys need to go to the charity store.
Did you know as well as your plastic supermarket bags - bread and nappy bags, pasta and chip packets, zip lock bags, frozen food and biscuit wrappers can be included too!
Redcycle will tell you more and where to find your nearest supermarket for recycling. Lindfield, Turramurra, Chatswood and Hornsby supermarkets now offer specialty soft plastic recycling.
Glass bottles and jars (from jams, condiments, drinks etc) can be recycled via your kerbside collection.
Toughened glass such as drinking glasses, ceramics, plate glass (window panes) and oven-proof glass/pyrex cannot be recycled via your kerbside recycling services. They melt at a higher temperature than normal glass bottles and jars. As little as 15 grams of this non-acceptable glass per tonne can result in valuable glass being unable to be recycled!
Preparing glass bottles and jars for recycling:
- Remove lids or caps, but no need to remove paper labels.
- Rinse jars and empty bottles. To conserve water, wash bottles and jars in used dishwater or in a bucket with other recyclables.
- Ensure that the bottles and jars are empty and dry.
The National Television and Recycling Scheme provides multiple locations for you to recycle TV's, computer, printers, electric cables and more.
Tech Collect are a not-for-profit organisation managing e-waste for a range of leading technology manufacturers and importers.
Batteries are the most common form of household hazardous waste. If recycled, 95% of the components can be turned into new batteries or used in other industries.
Collect and drop off your batteries at the Gordon Library or a range of supermarkets and stores. CleanUp Australia has all the info.
Microbeads are tiny plastic particles that are added to personal care products. They are commonly used to scrub the skin or clean your teeth but once washed down the drain can be harmful to our rivers and waterways. 'Microbeads' is a marketing term introduced by the cosmetic industry and they are mainly made of Polyethylene (PE). Beat the Microbeads is an organisation trying to increase awareness of what we are purchasing in our cosmetics.
Saving our waterways
The Take3 initiative is spreading the plastic-free message and it's impact on our oceans and waterways.
Chemicals including solvents and chemical cleaners, paints, batteries, light bulbs, bug spray aerosols, poisons, motor oils, fire extinguishers and other dangerous substances should not be placed in recycling or rubbish bins. All can be dropped of at our regular free Chemical Clean Out event at St Ives show ground, keep an eye out for the next one.
Stay in touch
Subscribe to our monthly sustainability enewsletter.
Subscribe to our What's on calendar via email every 6 months.