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Plastic Free July - Choose To Reuse

Plastic Free July is a fun challenge that gets people thinking about the amount of plastic packaging in our lives and helps find ways to reduce or refuse these items.

Why participate

Australians use around 100kg of plastic packing per household each year. These plastic don’t break up or break down in the environment and are mostly unable to be recycled. They will end up in landfill or as litter and pollute our streets, waterways and oceans.

By participating in Plastic Free July you will join the millions of people from around the world making a difference to the planet.

Sign up to the challenge

Take up the challenge and choose to avoid, refuse or replace as much single-use plastic as you can during July. You can register your contribution by signing up to the challenge or visiting the Plastic Free July website

Simple ways to make a difference

When out and about

  • Take a reusable coffee cup with you and support coffee shops who provide discounts to customers using a reusable cup.
  • Use a reusable drink bottle – Sydney’s water is from natural sources. It’s filtered to the high standards set by the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines ensuring it’s safe to drink straight from the tap.
  • Straws – refuse to use a straw when eating out or buy a reusable one - either bamboo or metal.

Whilst at the shops

  • Take your own reusable cloth bags when you shop – keep a few in your car or one in your handbag so you always have one ready to go.
  • Need fruit and vegetables? Skip the plastic bag and pre-packaged fruit and vegetables.
  • Avoid beauty products with micro-beads.
  • Opt for products in cardboard packaging or glass. Or go the product with the least packaging.

Things you can do at home

  • Bin liners – see how to use newspapers to line your bin.
  • Try not using a liner at all and for any food or wet scraps have a sealed container and freeze until bin day.
  • Alternatively get a compost or worm farm – Cumberland Council now gives rebates for the purchase of a compost bin or worm farm up to the value of $50.

Make your own cleaning products

There is really no need to purchase ‘wonder’ pre-packaged cleaning products. Try making your own with products you can buy in bulk, and usually in cardboard. You've probably got all the ingredients in your cupboard.

Bleach may seem like an excellent cleaner of fungi and mould in the bathroom, however, vinegar is actually a better mould killer in many cases. Also about a third of household bathroom cleaners sold in Australia feature bleach as an active ingredient. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do much to get rid of soap scum.

Want more tips and tricks for making the move to going plastic free - visit the Plastic Free July website

Council initiatives

Read on to discover initiatives supported by Council.

Reusable coffee cups

The coffee cart at Cumberland Council sells reusable coffee cups with a purchase of coffee and has signed up to the responsible cafe program.

Drop by Council Chambers at Merrylands or Merrylands Library and visit the coffee cart to purchase your own resusable coffee cup and get an ongoing discount on all future coffee purchases from the cart.

Public water refill stations

Cumberland Council provides public place water refill stations across 8 locations in the Council area. Fill up your your reusable drink bottle there and avoid using plastic bottles.

Water refill stations are located at:

  • Dirrabari Reserve, Pemulwuy.
  • Central Gardens Animal Exhibits, Central Gardens.
  • Granville Park, Merrylands.
  • Campbell Hill Pioneer Reserve, Guildford.
  • Auburn Botanic Gardens, Auburn.
  • Merrylands Park, Merrylands.
  • Wyatt Park netball courts, Lidcombe.
  • Guildford Park, Guildford.

Boomerang Bags Program

Cumberland Council is planning to create its own Boomerang bags program and we need help sewing our bags.

No experience necessary just a willingness to help. Not interested in sewing but have fabric you could donate that’s great too. Just call the council for more information.


  • REDcycle and reading chairs.
  • Turning waste source into new roads, diverting street sweeping material and storm water material from landfill.
  • Close the loop program.

Further information

For more details contact Cumberland Council on 8757 9000 or email