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Reducing single-use plastics

Updated: Oct 21, 2019

Plastic pollution is recognised as a global concern. Brisbane City Council is committed to protecting the health of our waterways and of Moreton Bay.

Dugong in Moreton bay

To support this commitment, Council announced in May 2018 that it would ban the use of single-use plastic drinking straws, and phase out helium balloons and single-use plastic water bottles from Council operations and events. Council encourages our partners and the community to do the same.

Straws, helium balloons and single-use plastic water bottles are not environmentally friendly for the following reasons. 

Buy a reusable water bottle to take with you whenever you leave the house.

Plastic straws are used once for about 15 minutes and then thrown away. Thousands of them end up in our waterways, where they may be eaten by birds and other wildlife. 

Helium balloons can travel for hundreds of kilometres before ending up on land or in the sea and take years to completely break down. The plastic, strings and tags may be eaten by our native wildlife or entangle them, causing death. Single-use plastic water bottles – like other plastics, these often end up in our waterways, breaking down and creating microplastics which are harmful to marine animals and the environment.

The actual process of producing a plastic bottle also impacts on the environment – from the production to the transport to the storage. Single-use plastic water bottles are also expensive, tap water costs less than one cent per litre, compared to approximately $3 per litre for bottled varieties.

What you can do

Everyone can help reduce plastic pollution by taking the following simple steps.

Say no to straws when you visit food outlets.

If you need a straw, remember to take your own stainless steel or bamboo straw with you. Avoid helium balloons when you are outdoors and don’t release them into the air. Use other creative ways to decorate, such as paper bunting which can be recycled or composted.

Check the events page on Environmental Divers if you want to get involved with an upcoming event.

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