by Bonnie Serov

June 5th is World Environment Day and here at Manly Food Co-op, we’re celebrating by offering a reward to our members that get involved! Details at the bottom of the blog.

As you might have heard, plastic pollution is a big problem for our planet. But there are ways we can all contribute to reducing its impact —starting with our own food systems. In this blog, we’ll explore how small changes in your shopping habits can make a big difference to the future of our planet!

This year’s World Environment Day is all about the fight against plastic pollution.

On World Environment Day, we’re focusing on the fight against plastic pollution!

Plastic is a serious problem, threatening our environment and human health. There is strong evidence that plastic pollution may be affecting our food supply, and that means we all have a stake in solving the problem.

And it starts with our shopping habits!

By making small changes at home, we can reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills and oceans.

Plastic is a huge problem

Plastic isn’t biodegradable. It lasts forever, polluting our oceans, rivers and land.

Did you know animals like sea turtles mistake small pieces of plastic (like microbeads) for food, resulting in infections or death for the animal when swallowed in large amounts?

Plastic isn’t only a problem for marine life. It also impacts human health. Plastic contains toxic chemicals like BPA and phthalates, which are released when plastic breaks down and enters our food chain through our food supply.

We must remove plastic from our food system

If you’re reading this, then it’s highly likely that you believe we need to remove plastic from our food system.

How do we do this?

At times, the problem with plastic seems so great it feels overwhelming. However, there are simple steps you can take today that can have a positive long-term impact on our environment, and our community.

Steps include:

  • Removing plastic packaging from your life. Buy fresh, unpackaged produce and take your containers when shopping for groceries (Manly Food Co-op provides free reusable jars for customers). You can also make a conscious effort not to buy items with unnecessary packaging (e.g. nuts in single-use packets).
  • Reusing and refusing plastic where possible. Recycle bags at home as bin liners instead of buying new ones every time you shop. Keep cotton or silk shopping bags in the car or your handbag and say no to plastic bags.
  • Avoid single-use plastics. Carry reusable water bottles and keep-cups and use beeswax wraps instead of disposable plastic alternatives.

Reduce plastic pollution by shopping at Manly Food Co-op

By shopping at Manly Food Co-op, you are actively contributing towards the reduction of plastic pollution. As a community grocery store, we are dedicated to eliminating plastic by promoting reusable containers, sourcing locally produced goods and minimising excess waste. By supporting community co-op stores such as Manly Food Co-op, you are in the driver’s seat to make a positive impact on our environment and our community.

If interested to learn more about how you can help protect our oceans and planet from plastic pollution, drop into the store and have a chat with our team of friendly staff and volunteers. Or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

We all know how important it is to get rid of plastic from our environment and food production. The best part is, together, we have the power to make a real difference in reducing plastic pollution.

Now about that reward…

This weekend, head out on your favourite walk or to a local beach or park and fill a grocery bag with rubbish.

Take a picture, post it to your socials, tag the Co-op and include the hashtag #beat plastic pollution.

Then come to the shop, show us the photo and collect your $5 gift card. It’s one gift card per person, folks, and the offer ends on Wednesday 7 June.

Bonnie Serov is a shop and marketing volunteer at the Co-op and in her day job is a copywriter and author. See more of her work here.