The initiator: Coles Bay, Tasmania

Coles Bay in Tasmania was the first community to ban plastic bags in Australia. In 2003 the local initiative successfully disposed all light weight plastic bags from the supermarket check-outs. During the first 12 months Coles Bay stopped the use of 350,000 plastic bags.

The first state to ban plastic bags: South Australia

In 2009 South Australia became the first Australian state to ban plastic bags. Since then 82% of South Australians believe that the ban of plastic bags is an important environmental issue. In the first 6 months they stopped the use of 200 million plastic bags. The ACT and the Northern Territory are drafting similar regulations.

Retailers campaign: Harris Farm Market

Harris Farm Market donates 5c to Clean Up Australia for every person who doesn't want a plastic bag. With this campaign they aim to reduce the use of plastic bags by 1/2 million in six months.

Last modified on Thursday, 20 June 2013 09:30
  • Australians use 3.9 billion plastic bags per year.
  • 2.95 billion plastic bags are handed out in supermarkets in Australia each year.
  • Nearly 1/2 million plastic bags are collected each year on 'Clean Up Australia Day'.
  • The amount of petroleum used to make a plastic bag would drive a car about 11 meters.
  • Just 1% of the plastic bags are recycled.
  • It takes 15-1000 years to break down a plastic bag.
Last modified on Thursday, 20 June 2013 09:30

Here you will find the latest news and tips around gardening, composting and healthy food.


21/10/2010 Rotation against pests and diseases

If you are rotating the cultivation of vegetables, herbs or fruits from season to season, you are very
likely to avoid pests and diseases. By rotating your crops, the pests and diseases that build up in the
soil are deprived of their favourite hosts. Rotation also helps the soil to build up new nutritions, as
different crops have different nutrient requirements. If you grow the same veggies season after
season the soil will soon lack the necessary nutrients, which will lead to an increased demand of fertilizer.


08/10/2010 Local and water efficient

Know Sydney's natural vegetation and enjoy the advantages of native plants in your garden. Native plants have evolved according to the local soil

and climate over a long periode and are perfectly adapted to an area's specific growing conditions. There are many reasons to use this home field advantage: the soil naturally provides the required nutrients, it is water efficient as the plants are used to the local weather conditions and you provide a natural habitat for native animals and insects. After all the secret of successful gardening is very simple: the right plants in the right places.



29/09/2010 'Love food hate waste'logofood

The NSW Government Department of Environment, Climate Change & Water 'Love food hate waste' program raises awareness about how the food we waste has an impact on the environment and how we can change our food wasting behaviour. Australians waste around 3 million tonnes of food each year, that is 136 kg per person. Food waste thrown into landfills becomes the main contributor to the generation of methane. The department announced that if food waste produced by households was reduced by 66% cent in line with Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy, the greenhouse gas savings would be equivalent to taking 117,000 cars permanently off the road in NSW. Australia’s supply chain has a significant impact on our environmental footprint, it is the second-highest emissions generating activity after power stations.

We can reduce this high environmental impact by changing our actions towards food production and food waste.

  • Community, school and private gardening increase the demand for sustainable produce and contribute positively to our environment.
  • Buying local and seasonal foods reduces transportation costs and subsidizes local farmers.
  • Planning our meals, shopping accordingly and using leftovers reduces the amount of food we waste.

About 40% of our food wastes, like vegetable and fruit peel, are unavoidable. Setting up a compost or a worm farm can therefore be a good solution to avoid the food wastes going into landfills. The produced fertilizer is cost effectively and environment friendly.

Love food hate waste.


23/09/2010 Non-toxic weed controlweedtechnics

Jeremy Winer's handy Greensteam Machine eliminates weeds in cracks and crevices and his Steamwand effectively removes weeds in garden beds. Winer got inspired by the traditional method locomotives used to fight weeds strangling the tracks: by spraying steam. Today Weedtechnics is the leading provider of non-toxic weed control solutions. Weedtechnics is used around Australia in local councils, government authorities, schools and by residential clients. The machines are available for hire and sale. For more information visit or call 9986 1505.

Last modified on Thursday, 04 July 2013 19:19

Composting and worm-farms are important parts of community and school gardens. Composting your organic waste is an important contribution to a healthy environment.

Last modified on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 10:54

Find out where the community gardens in your local area are.

Last modified on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 10:55

School gardens function as outdoor classrooms and offer the perfect learning environment.

Last modified on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 10:56

Community gardens are based on land owned by the local or state government, schools and churches. They can either be shared gardens, where gardeners look after the whole garden and share what they grow, allotment gardens, where individuals or families manage their own garden beds, or a mixture of both.

Last modified on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 10:56

See under the Sea

The Manly Environment Centre will host the 19th Ocean Care Day Festival, a free fun community event on Manly's spectacular surf beach.

Check out the eco exhibitions and local art, while learning more about our gorgeous local environment as well as today's big issues.

Sunday’s Bike Life Festival attracted a colourful crowd of cyclists and cycling enthusiasts as part of Manly Council and the Manly Environment Centre’s program of activities celebrating Bike Week.

Permaculture is the art of gardening naturally. It has been described as "a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature", and is concerned with self-sustaining human settlements and farming systems.

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