Could you fit 5 days’ worth of single-use plastic into a jar? Pledge now!

A life without plastic – hard to imagine, right?
Single-use plastics are ever-present, in our landfills, waterways and eventually, our oceans.

According to the World Economic Forum, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish by weight in the Earth’s oceans.

The Queensland Government estimates that Queenslanders use a staggering 900 million single-use plastic bags every year, and that’s just plastic bags!

But why are single-use plastics so problematic?

  • Plastic production requires the use of non-renewable resources such as crude oil, coal and natural gas, with production emissions worsening the effects of anthropogenic climate change.
  • Plastic waste is known to kill a very large number of wildlife species each year. Studies completed by UQ researchers found that the ingestion of marine debris – primarily single-use plastic - was the cause of death for at least 30% of observed sea turtles, with a further 6% of deaths caused by entanglement.
  • Plastics pose serious threats to human health due to the presence of a number of toxic chemicals such as phthalates and BPA. Numerous studies have linked exposure to these chemicals with endocrine disruption, cancer and other health issues.

Our throwaway culture can have serious implications for the future of the planet.

What can you do to help?

From 29th May – 2nd June, join with fellow Green Office Reps and pledge to fit all single-use plastic waste that you generate at UQ into a small container or jar.

This challenge serves as a small step towards creating waste minimisation habits in our everyday lives.

Single-use plastics include ‘hard plastics’ such as disposable bottles, disposable food containers, coffee cups, straws, and ‘soft plastics’ such as plastic bags, cling wrap, chip packets, and zip lock bags.

Special kudos goes to any offices who can make it the whole 5 days without using single-use plastics at all!

Make sure to send a photo of your container at the end of the week with any feedback about your experiences during the challenge.

If you have social media, upload your photo with the hashtag #UQ5DaysofPlastic

Lucky dip zero-waste prizes will be awarded to participating Green Offices that send in a photo of their jar or container.


  • When ordering tea or coffee at outlets on campus – remember to bring a durable mug or KeepCup.
  • Bring lunch in a reusable container from home – it’s likely you’ll save some money too!
  • Keep a set of reusable cutlery in your bag at all times.
  • Use a reusable water bottle.
  • Grab a bag of package-free veggies from the campus Food Co-op run by the UQU Environment Collective each Wednesday during Semester.
  • Fruit is a great healthy snack – it even has its own natural packaging!
  • Ask for your sushi in a paper bag.
  • Buy a bottle of soy sauce and refuse the little plastic fish.

You can even trial this challenge at home. Buy in bulk, experiment and reduce the amount of waste you produce as a household.

If you would like to participate, please email


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