ABC Northern Tasmania


Once upon a time plastic was seen as a triumph of engineering – a sign of progress that solved multiple problems in all sorts of industries and parts of our lives. And we embraced it so much that it’s now hard to imagine life without it. But the durability of plastic is now the problem not the solution – with scary statistics like one million plastic bottles being used every minute. Plastic is everywhere, choking our oceans and waterways, taking over landfills, littering roadsides, beaches and forests. Every bit of plastic that has ever been made still exists. So how do we get rid of our plastic habit? Tasmania was the first state to ban plastic bags, and now a farmers market in Launceston is taking on the challenge of going plastic free. As Catherine Zengerer reports.
Story features:
• Gareth Shapiro, Elgaar Organic Dairy Farm and The Grain Family Organic Farm in Moltema, Northern Tasmania.
• Curly Haslam-Coates, Launceston Harvest Market Manager
• Dr Jennifer Lavers – Research Scientist at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies.
• Trish Haeusler Plastic free Launceston
• Music from Ruben Reeves


Challenging our love of plastic


Our century long love affair with plastic is fast losing its shine as we confront the dangers its once lauded durability is posing to the environment. This July, Harvest Launceston Community Farmers’ Market will be joining the Plastic Free July challenge and looking at ways of avoiding single use plastics. Designed for a brief few minutes of use, this disposable plastic lasts forever posing dangers to our food chain, environment and health. Read more


Moving plastic out

Return your glass jars and bottles, bring along your reusable containers to be filled with olive oil, soft cheeses and coffee beans, swap the plastic punnet for a brown bag and take home your fresh produce in a reusable hessian bag from Harvest Launceston Community Farmers’ Market. Read more




The plastic revolution

Plastic is today a ubiquitous part of everyday life. Plastic’s ability to be moulded and shaped into any form makes it an ideal material and it plays a vital role in advancing technologies and shaping how we experience every day products. The down side is that plastic is chocking waterways, oceans and landfills, killing birds, sea life, and is appearing in remote forests and wild places. Plastic does not break down, but does break into minute bits and pieces of permanent pollution. Read more