A personal word

Since I have not yet sat back and shared my personal thoughts and experiences with you all, I thought today would be a great day to do so. I wanted to share what inspired me to start such a campaign, how I have found the process and what I plan to do with the future of it all.

Firstly, I started this campaign as a response to a university assignment. Being on my final days of my university degree, I have learn a lot about the power of media. There is much to be learnt, and much to be experienced in this whole new era of technology. After my degree, I wish to take some time off to travel, be lazy and take time for myself, because I haven’t had much of a break yet in life. Eventually I wish to get into the advertising industry, and hopefully change the world through design!

The assignment brief for this particular task required me to create a social media campaign in response to a social issue that I felt strongly about. I considered a few options before landing on the issue of plastic bags- including the issue of imported products sold over Australia produce, and cruelty in animals for human entertainment (which would have been inspired by the documentary ‘Black Fish’… would recommend for anybody who wants to have their eyes opened). I then began to think about what sorts of things I noticed would really bother me whilst I was out and about living my life in the society of Sydney. The first thing that came to my mind was watching people litter, and even worse, watching people take plastic bag after plastic bag at the checkout. I knew once I had combined the two issues- plastic bag wastage and pollution, I had hit my bullseye.

Working in retail for the past few years, I had noticed many common shopping habits. The biggest one was the way people took a bag for their purchases without thinking twice. It did not matter how small the purchase was and it did not matter how many other bags they already had. I was often asked for multiple bags “incase that one breaks as I’m walking around” or “they are gifts, so I want to put them in separate bags”… I’m sorry, but why do items that are bought as gifts automatically mean you have to separate them? Aren’t you going to go home, take them out of the bag, wrap them and give them to the person? So why does that mean you have to put them into two separate bags? I never understood people.

I used to work at target, where they charged 5c for the small bags and 10c for the larger bags… and these bags were biodegradable. I loved this! It was such a great way to get people NOT to use plastic bags. As soon as you told people there was a tax on the bag, they became aware of the fact that they didn’t need a bag at all.

For me, this assignment has become more of a hobby than anything else. I thoroughly am interested in the cause, which is why I believe I have enjoyed it so much. I feel great that I am possibly changing the world (no matter how slight these changes may be), and I feel proud for the way I have really put myself out there and put my heart into this cause 100%. I have received so much positive feedback from work colleagues, friends, family, teachers and other peers. Multiple people have told me that they have stopped using plastic bags, or have increased the amount of times they use one plastic bag before throwing away due to my campaign… I even had my manager at work tell me she had stopped using normal garbage bags and has switched to biodegradable bags instead. It makes me so pleased that I am reaching people, and that my hard work may actually be paying off. My goal was never to make a huge impact, but just simply to make any impact at all. If I can change at least one person’s shopping habits, then I am making a difference.

From here, I wish to continue to contact hubs and to continue promoting Choose Canvas. I want to join the fight for a plastic bag ban and tax within NSW and ultimately I want to keep changing people’s habits and attitudes.

I would love to thank everybody for the support I have received so far, and would be entirely grateful if this support would continue onto the next chapter of my campaign.

Watch this space!

 

AF.

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BAN THE BAG, AUSTRALIA!

WHAT DO WE WANT?
NATIONAL LEGISLATION TO BAN PLASTIC BAGS IN AUSTRALIA!

WHEN DO WE WANT IT?
Well, we wanted it 10 years ago, so any day now would be great, thanks.

Australia really ought to take a page out of the book of so many other countries around the world that have implemented national legislation to ban plastic bags… or to put a tax on them at the very least!
Our 4 biggest states; NSW, VICTORIA, QUEENSLAND and WA have all yet to impose any sort of legislation to limit the usage amounts of plastic bags.
Why is it that our smallest states and territories can, and have, but the most populated states seem to be lagging far behind?
Here’s some background information about the different legislations imposed by each Australian state and territory.

South Australia
I put South Australia first because it is the leader of the nation in terms of plastic bag bans. It was the first state, in 2009, to introduce a ban on lightweight, checkout style bags. Knowing that there is no other option, 9/10 South Australians take reusable bags to do their grocery shopping, compared to only 6/10 before the ban took effect. Retailers are charged if found breaking the ban- which is a great way to enforce it. With this initiative in full swing, there are 400 million less plastic bags used in South Australia every year. Great results and great proof that putting a ban on bags CAN be done and definitely works in reducing plastic waste.

ACT
The capital city of Australia banned plastic bags in November of 2011, and haven’t looked back since. The ban applies to all retailers in the ACT with single use, high density bags (typically the bags seen at supermarket checkouts). Overall, the ban has reduced the volume of plastic bags going to landfill by about one third and 65% of Canberra grocery shoppers say they support the ban.

The Northern Territory
A few months prior to the ACT’s ban, the largest territory in Australia banned plastic bags, going live from February 2011. The ban said bye bye to those harmful, single use plastic bags that you see at the supermarket checkouts. Prior to the ban, the Northern Territory used almost 40 million plastic bags each year, which is not good for a city that is prone to a lot of native Australian animals… such as crocs!

Tasmania
From November of 2013, Tasmania followed suit and removed all light weight, single use plastic bags from the shops. Hopefully next we will see the removal of the lower density plastic bags typically used by clothing stores.

Victoria
Oh, Victoria! With plastic bags ranking number 5 on the list of most littered items, it’s almost unbelievable that this power state has not yet put a state-wide ban on plastic bags. In March earlier this year, the Victorian government came out saying it favoured a ban on plastic over a levy, and said it had joined a working group with Queensland and NSW to plan for bagless shopping after being told a national government ban would not be established.

Queensland
The Queensland government claims it is working towards introducing a state wide ban on single use, lightweight plastic bags. There is also claims of a  joint ban between NSW and Queensland, with the idea that it would be easier for businesses along the state border if the states had the same rules. Similarly to Victoria, a state ban is favourable over a ban tax.

Western Australia
The biggest state in Australia (based on land size) means it has more ground to cover when it comes to the issue of plastic bag wastage and pollution… it also has the biggest coast line over any other Australian state… so why is Western Australia yet to impose a ban on plastic bags? Western Australia uses some 400 million plastic bags each year. The WA cities of Freemantle and Albany introduced their own local bans, which were eradicated in 2015 by the WA government, as it claimed that the ban of plastic bags was not an issue that should be decided by local governments. We’re still waiting for you to jump on board the BAN wagon, WA!

New South Wales
The glorious NSW is last, but definitely not least. With Sydney being Australia’s most populated city, it’s vital that NSW does SOMETHING (anything!) to reduce the amount of plastic bags used. In 2015, a petition signed made it’s way to the NSW government, with their response saying that they would consider a ban in the near future. There are multiple organizations working to ensure a ban happens some time soon, and Choose Canvas is one of them! For the mean time, it’s up to individual consumers to be in charge of their impact, and to CHOOSE CANVAS over plastic!

We are so spoilt here in Australia; we live in a land of high convenience. I think it’s time we put sustainability and the health of our oceans and it’s animals OVER convenience.

ACT NOW FOR NSW! Sign the Greenpeace petition for a ban of plastic bags in NSW

 

Choose a bag that doesn’t destroy earth.

Choose Canvas.

Image result for australia beaches
The dream: a plastic free world.

AF

Two other big plastic killers to be mindful of

PLASTIC STRAWS

  • In the USA alone, 500 million straws are used daily. That’s enough to wrap the entire circumference of the earth 2 and a half times… and that’s just from one country in one day! Think about the amount used every single year worldwide! You can’t even put a number on it.
  • Straws are made from the same single use plastic that makes up most plastic bags… meaning that it never truly biodegrades. This means they accumulate in the environment each and every day, and will more often than not end up in our oceans.
  • Straws are particularly nasty for marine life as they can easily lodge inside an animal’s nose or throat, and cut off air supply.

What you can do?

REDUCE: Simply, so NO to plastic straws! If you do not need one, do not accept one! Do not buy them at the supermarket and do not take one when eating out.

REUSE: At home, use reusable straws and if you find yourself using straws often, keep a reusable one in your handbag so you will never be straw-less!

RECYCLE: Always put your plastic straws in plastic recycling bins, and make sure you separate them from other general waste. When you see straws polluted on our streets, pick them up and put them in the bin!

Image result for plastic straws ocean

 

PLASTIC BOTTLES:

  • Plastic bottles are among the ten most common rubbish items picked up on Clean Up Australia Day.
  • Bottled water is a rip-off! 90% of the price you pay for bottled water can be traced back to the lid, bottle and label. Tap water costs $1 per litre and bottled water costs $2.53 per litre… you do the maths.
  • More than 100 million plastic bottles are used worldwide every. single. day.
  • Plastic bottles are made from a petroleum product and requires huge amounts of fossil fuels to make and transport them. If you fill a plastic bottle with liquid so that it’s 25% full, that’s roughly how much oil it took to make the bottle… and for a single-use disposable item that’s A LOT!

What you can do?

REDUCE: Simply, do not buy plastic water bottles. Instead, use a permanent drink bottle such as the metal ones which can be found at heaps of supermarkets around Australia.

REUSE: If you find yourself buying plastic water bottles, then make sure to reuse them before throwing them away. You can get quite a few uses out of them, so make sure to maximise the use of each bottle before buying another.

RECYCLE: Ensure you are recycling plastic bottles by separating them from general waste and placing them in plastic bins. You can also return them to some plastic recycling stations for money!

 

AF

Image result for plastic bottles ocean

20 EYE OPENING FACTS THAT WILL TURN YOU OFF PLASTIC BAGS

Image result for plastic pollution ocean

1.  The world uses up to 1 trillion plastic bags per year.

2. The average plastic bag is only used for 12 minutes.

3. One plastic bag can remain in the environment for more than 1000 years.

4. Australia alone uses almost 7 billion new plastic bags each year.

5. Australian supermarkets supply 3.68 billion plastic bags each year.

6. Only 2.7% of plastic bags are recycled.

7. 80 million plastic bags get littered annually in Australia.

8. 200 million dollars of tax payer money is spent each year on plastic litter clean up.

9. The amount of energy used to make 8 High Density Plastic Bags is enough to fuel a car for 1km.

10.   143 different marine species have, at some point, been affected, injured and killed by plastic bags.

11.    Approximately 100,000 marine animals die annually from plastic pollution.

12.   Approximately 1 million sea birds die annually from plastic pollution.

13.   Two thirds of the worlds fish population has some sort of plastic ingestion.

14.   The average Australian uses 360 plastic bags each year.

15.   By the year 2050, it is estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in the sea (By weight).

16.   There is 46,000 pieces of plastic in every square kilometre of ocean.

17.   Over 6 million TONNES of rubbish are dumped into the ocean annually… 80% of this is plastic.

18.   One single plastic bag can be a multi killer; after it has been ingested and the body of the killed animal decomposes, the bag lives on and can be picked up by the wind, waiting to be ingested by another victim.

19.   Porpoises are the most common victim of plastic bag pollution in oceans.

20.  Countless numbers of land species also are effected by plastic pollution, as it is easily consumed mistakenly as the animal searches for food.

 

The solution?

Choose a bag that doesn’t destroy earth.

Choose Canvas.

 

AF