Publish date: 05 June 2023

Today is the United Nations World Environment Day. This year the focus is on ‘Solutions to Plastic Pollution’ with the rallying cry #beatplasticpollution 

According to the UN, 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced per year worldwide, half of which is designed to be disposable. Much of this waste makes its way into our waterways, and 11 million tonnes of it ultimately ends up in our oceans each year. 

Our planet is clogged with waste – more specifically plastic waste. And since reading the blog by our in-house Environmental Officer, Abbey Pringle – “A Circular Economy: the Travis Schultz & Partners Approach” – I have been inspired to dig deeper and make some changes.  

The best part is that we do not necessarily have to ‘re-invent the wheel’ to begin our transition to a circular economy. There are a plethora of products and services already in existence, ready for us to make the switch.  

Let me share with you some of the things we have done here at Travis Schultz & Partners (TSP) Cairns office in our #beatplasticpollution journey. 

Clothing Donations  

The amount of clothing and textiles that end up in landfill is astounding. Clothing is something we all (hopefully) wear and many of us are guilty of over purchasing and throwing away unwanted items in perfectly good condition.  

The TSP Cairns crew recently faced the music with our wardrobes and banded with a local beauty boutique Bloom – Skin, Brows & Beauty to collect much needed donations for our local Ruth’s Women’s Shelter. Donating unwanted items not only reduces landfill, but also helps the wider community and those in need.   

Repurposed Office Décor  

Decorating a space like your desk or your office can be very exciting and having a calming space can be very helpful as we tackle our busy schedules. Some popular items which make their way onto work desks and spaces are artificial plants made of plastic. We decided to put an end to this and sourced alternative ‘circular minded’ methods to decorating our spaces.  

Our local sustainable salon leMynk Hair use environmentally friendly products, and the shampoos and conditioners used in store come in glass bottles. Lucky for us, they make the perfect vase to house plant cuttings – which we use as décor in our office space. What a fresh change – real plants in our office and contributing to the elimination of décor made of plastic.   

We also love our dried floral arrangement created by the talented team at Botanic Republic, made from dried and preserved flowers which will last quite some time unlike traditional flowers. It is the perfect alternative to an artificial floral arrangement, often made with many plastic components. 

Zero Waste and Recycled Products 

When you wash your hands at our office, not only will your hands be clean, but so will your conscience, knowing that you used zero waste product, Tirtyl. This Brisbane based company, creates a range of zero waste products which we use in all offices at TSP. We also use 100% recycled toilet paper by Who Gives a Crap which is free of plastic packaging and saves trees from being cut down. Transitioning to these products is an easy way to reduce your business or your home’s waste footprint. 

Worthy Cause Donations 

Finally, this World Environment Day, across the offices our team members are raising money to support Sea Shepherd, helping fund their Australia-wide marine debris campaign.

Although it may not be possible to eliminate all plastic overnight, it is possible for each of us to review our choices and change a few of our habits to reduce our plastic footprint little by little. I hope these tips have given you motivation to reduce your use of single-use plastics at home or in the office. 

More resources for World Environment Day here.

Mai Fukushima
Mai Fukushima
Junior Paralegal
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