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Join the plastic pollution solution

01 June 2023
• 2 minute read
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In 2023, World Environment Day turns its attention to a problem that’s choking life on Earth: our reliance on plastic.

Plastic bottles, bags, straws and packaging literally flow into our oceans at a rate of one truck load per second.

Let’s take a look at the shocking stats behind our single-use plastic addiction:

  • 1 million plastic bottles bought each minute
  • Up to 5 trillion plastic bags used each year
  • 400 million tonnes of plastic waste produced each year
  • Production of plastic is forecast to increase to 1.1 billion tonnes by 2050
  • 98% of single-use plastic is produced using fossil fuels

These plastics break down into microplastics and infiltrate the food chain. And who sits at the top? Yep, us. Microplastics contaminate our food, water and even the air we breathe.

How do we combat the plastic problem when it’s so easy (and understandable) to shy away from such a mammoth challenge?

How to live sustainably

The first thing to remember is that buying plastic, particularly single-use plastic, is often a choice. We can feel empowered by the knowledge we each have an influence. Bottle by bottle, bag by bag, we can use our influence to improve sustainability.

Every global movement gets its power from the actions of individuals.

How to reduce your use

The average Australian uses 130kg of plastic each year. With just a little bit of planning and learning some sustainable practices, you can reduce your consumption dramatically.

Everyday decisions

It’s the little things that add up. Look at the ways you use plastic in your daily life and try to find environmentally friendly alternatives. Here are some sustainable practice examples:

  • Use reusable containers and keep-cups
  • Keep your reusable shopping bags in your car so you’ll always have them at hand
  • Use bees-wax wraps instead of cling wrap
  • Avoid individually wrapped snacks in your children’s lunchboxes

As you cut plastic from your life, you’ll build momentum. You might even find that once you start, it will become a passion.

Business decisions

Take a closer look at the businesses you support. Do they have policies for managing and reducing their environmental impacts? And if so, are they merely greenwashing to cover up their dirty practices?

Apps such as Shop Ethical and Good On You are tools to help you choose businesses, brands, and products with high ethical and environmental ratings (and avoid those that don’t).

Of course, the banking industry has a big influence when it comes to financing the world’s businesses. So, make sure you choose a bank that’s actively supporting the move to a net zero future.

What is Great Southern Bank doing to help? Why, thank you for asking.

  • We’ve committed to reach net zero emissions by 2040
  • We’re carbon neutral certified and we offset our carbon emissions annually
  • We’re a signatory to the UN Global Compact in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • We’re reducing unnecessary paper use and encouraging our customers to switch to digital statements

Yes, environmental challenges are everywhere. Don’t be overwhelmed. Your efforts and influence can help others learn how to live sustainably. You never know, you might just start a movement.

To learn more about the issue of plastic pollution and to get involved, visit the World Environment Day website.

Important Information

Great Southern Bank, a business name of Credit Union Australia Ltd ABN 44 087 650 959, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence Number 238317. Conditions, fees and charges apply. This is general information and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Consider the appropriateness of the information, including the Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) booklet, before acting on it. The Financial Claims Scheme may apply to this product; refer to the T&Cs for more information.

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