Posted on by


With 8 million tons of plastic dumped into our oceans every year, our marine life is swallowing more plastic than ever  and it’s killing them. Help reduce your own plastic consumption by adopting these five simple steps. 


1. Refuse the straw

Saying no to a plastic straw is a great way to keep plastic pollution out of our oceans. Because straws are lightweight, they're easily blown down drains and into waterways, rivers and oceans. Single-use straws are only used for a few minutes, yet take hundreds of years to break down. Help get straws out of the top 10 list of items collected in beach clean-ups by refusing a straw next time you are out or bring a reusable alternative

2. Stop using takeaway coffee cups

Australians throw out an estimated 1 billion coffee cups each year, that’s 2,700,000 every day! Next time you are buying a takeaway coffee, bring your own reusable alternative, whether it be a cup, thermos, mug or jar – you will be helping reduce the amount of styrofoam and plastic-lined cardboard cups that make their way into landfill and our oceans each year. 

3. BYO bag

Plastic bags can spend their lifetimes floating in our oceans, causing severe harm to our wildlife as they mistake it for food or get entangled in it. By bringing your own reusable bag when you go shopping, you are helping prevent 500 plastic bags from entering our oceans and landfill each year. Many grocery stores have special recycling bins where you can recycle plastic bags and soft plastic packaging. The plastic is then converted into furniture and other items! 

4. Invest in a reusable water bottle

Avoid buying single-use plastic water bottles by carrying your own reusable alternative. Environmentally friendly alternatives include bottles made from stainless steel, glass and aluminium. Not only does a reusable water bottle help the environment, it’s also better for your health as single-use plastic bottles contain the industrial chemical BPA.

5. Shop smartly

Make a conscious effort to shop for loose fruit and vegetables, not those wrapped or packaged in plastic. Similarly, try to shop at a local deli, butcher or fishmonger that sells unpackaged items – this way you can bring your own reusable container and avoid items sold on polystyrene trays. 

Be sure to browse our store for a range of wonderful eco-friendly products, including stainless steel drinking straws, reusable coffee cups and beeswax wraps. 

Laura Signorelli

Laura Signorelli is the Digital Content Producer at the Australian National Maritime Museum.