Sustainability

Plastic Free July

AMP Capital’s Quay Quarter Tower is one of the most sustainable buildings in Australia, with a 6 Star Green Star (Office Design v3) from the Green Building Council of Australia.
 
And just one of the sustainability initiatives AMP Capital has instigated is a green-lease clause written into the retailers’ tenancy agreements that makes it mandatory to use only compostable packaging to eliminate single use plastics.
 
Quay Quarter Tower’s lobby cafes, Fossix and Parla are only too happy to oblige. In fact, they have gone one step further and signed up for Plastic Free July; a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – giving us cleaner streets, oceans, and communities.
 
The campaign was started by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz and a band of 40 eager volunteers in Perth in 2011. From such humble beginnings Plastic Free July has grown exponentially and now operates under the banner of the Plastic Free Foundation.
 
Why is Plastic Free July important? Consider this. Each Australian generates about 103 kilograms of plastic waste every 12 months, of which only around 32 percent is recycled. And a staggering one billion takeaway coffee cups get sent to landfill each year in Australia alone. Plastic is a big, big problem for all of us.
 
Both Parla and Fossix see their role as more of a promotional one, as they already limit their use of single use plastics.
 
“From a technology perspective, anything we can do to minimise the amount of waste is of high importance, because we don’t want to be part of the problem, we’re looking to be part of the solution,” says Fossix co-founder and marketing manager, Lindi Glass. “For example, we only use paper bags and trays for packaging, our takeaway knives and forks are made from bamboo - a sustainable product - and we always use proper crockery, never plastic, for in-house dining.
 
Buy a takeaway coffee from Fossix and the first thing you’ll notice is the writing on the cup: I’m Plastic Free don’t landfill me! Pop me in your compost or paper recycling bin.
 
What’s missing from these next generation eco-cups is the thin plastic skin that most takeaway cups have on the inside. Without the skin, the cups are totally compostable or recyclable. Lindi even sees a practical use for the cups in the garden.
“You can actually plant a seedling in one of our eco cups and when it starts to grow you can put the whole plant and cup into a garden, or into a ceramic pot where it will become part of the compost.”
 
Next year Fossix will be moving towards non-plastic lids for their takeaway coffee cups. “There is a lot of innovation in that space at the moment,” says Lindi. “The lids will be made from a cellulose material, derived from bamboo.”
 
Up the stairs from Fossix is Parla, one of the first establishments in the CBD to use I Am Not Paper, a brand of takeaway cup made from fully compostable plant pulp and printed with plant and water-based inks. I Am Not Paper has saved more than 41 football fields of Australian forest being turned into wood chips.
 
Parla also hosts the clever Noa and Parker program, where customers borrow a reusable keep-cup for free, and return it when they’re finished.
“You can also use the Noa and Parker app to order your coffee online so there’s no waiting,” says Parla founder/owner, Zach Hiotis.
 
The good news is everyone can do their bit for Plastic Free July this year. Whether it’s by refusing plastic bags, switching from plastic food wrap, and avoiding plastic bottled products and packaging. One of your best options is to vote with your feet and support retailers such as Fossix and Parla who embrace a plastic free planet. 
 
Fast Facts:

  • An estimated 140 million people took part in Plastic Free July 2021 globally.
  • Participants from 190 countries signed up.
  • The USA, China, India, South Korea, Italy, and Brazil have some of the highest participation rates.
  • 87% of participants had made at least one lasting change
  • Participants reduced their waste and recycling (across the last three years) by 15kg per person per year (3.5% less waste).
Find out more about Plastic Free July.