Category Archives: Marine Team

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Cairns Plastic Free Business Directory

We’ve started a plastic-free business directory for Cairns and would love your input!

Do you own a single-use plastic free business? Can you think of a business that you frequent that should be on the list?

Fill out the form below and let us know – we will add it to the list!

We can to list businesses that either:
a) don’t have any single-use plastic,
b) have ditched some single-use plastic Eg. bags, or,
c) stock mostly package free products.

Let’s expand this directory together to make it easy for others in Cairns to go plastic free!

Community Foods Cairns
What they sell ‘We stock a range of organic, biodynamic, & health foods. We can provide any quantity, including unopened bags in bulk for cheaper prices. We support local suppliers.’
How they’re plastic free No waste shop – everything in bulk with paper bags available or BYO containers
Address 74 Shields St, Cairns. Queensland
Phone 07 4041 5335
Instagram @communityfoodscairns
Enviromart Australia
What they sell ‘Enviromart Australia offers a wide variety of eco friendly organic and ecologically sustainable alternatives to help you reduce your carbon footprint and step a little lighter on the earth.’
How they’re plastic free No plastic bags, environmentally conscious product line
Address Corner James and McLeod Streets, Cairns North, Queensland, 4870
Phone 07 4041 2233
The Healthy Hub
What they sell Bulk food, organic, biodynamic supermarket options
How they’re plastic free No plastic bags, some bulk food options
Address 45 Moffat St, Cairns North QLD 4870
Phone (07) 4051 5688
Real Food Network
What they sell Fresh, local produce (lots of organic and spray free options)
How they’re plastic free They do provide plastic bags, however it is easy to take your own bag and buy produce plastic free
Address Rusty’s Markets, Cairns, Queensland 4870
Phone 0414 608 234
Rusty’s Markets
What they sell Fresh produce markets
How they’re plastic free They’re not (most vendors provide plastic bags) however it is easy to take your own bag and buy produce plastic free
Address 57-89 Grafton Street, Cairns
Phone 07 4031 5698
Instagram @RustysMarkets
The Source Bulk Foods Cairns
What they sell ‘..bulk wholefoods, health foods and a huge range of paleo, gluten free, organic & vegan products’
How they’re plastic free No waste shop – everything in bulk with paper bags available or BYO containers
Address 10/85 Lake St Cairns, Queensland
Phone 07 4031 5698
Instagram @thesourcecairns
  Cairns Hillslopes Hunny
What they sell They sell products from their own hives : hunny, honeycomb and beeswax
How they’re plastic free The beekeeper Roy sells his honey in recycled glass bottles. He provides too only paper bags for packaging.
Address Local markets: Holloways Beach markets and Tanks market
Phone 419644852
Want your business on the list? Enter your info here
Think of a business we should add? Let us know:

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Response Guide: Qld Gov Survey on plastic bag ban

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The Queensland Government has committed to banning single-use plastic bags in 2018 – hoorah! They have released a discussion paper and are seeking public input via an online survey into what a ban may look like in practice. The CAFNEC Marine Response Team have put together some points which may help you guide your response. The survey closes on Monday 27th March so have your say now!

Click here to start the Qld Government survey on banning light weight plastic bags now.

Q1. Do you think that 1 July 2018 allows enough time for consumers and retailers to transition to plastic bag alternatives?

  • Yes, people will adapt quickly to bringing their own bags.
  • It has shown to be successful in many other states and countries.
  • An education program for both consumers and retailers should be introduced prior to the ban date to educate on the problem of single-use plastic and the benefits of, and best alternatives to use.
  • Important it is introduced at an appropriate time for retailers, i.e. not at Easter or Christmas.

Q2. Do you agree that biodegradable bags should be included?

  • Yes
  • Taking away all plastic bags will help people to transition.
  • Degradable bags are designed to break into smaller pieces and resemble food for wildlife even more that standard bags.
  • Biodegradable bags contain toxic agents to slow down decomposition taking up to two years to fully decompose. Throughout this time they are in the environment doing damage.
  • People are more likely to litter biodegradable bags thinking that they are ok for the environment.

Q3. Do you support the Queensland Government working with other states and territories to encourage industry to reduce the number of heavier weight plastic department store bags?

  • Include heavier plastic bags in the policy now. Voluntary action to reduce will include education coupled with either a ban/alternative product or a levy on bags anyway.
  • Alternatives to thicker bags, such as consumers just using their own bags or recycled paper bags, must be encouraged.
  • Heavy duty plastic bags take even longer to break down in the environment than normal ones

Q4. What else can be done by the Queensland Government to address plastic pollution?

  • Stop mass release of helium balloons in Queensland. Once released they end up in the ocean and become a serious threat to wildlife.
  • Find alternative to single use bait bags for fishing
  • Plastic items such as polystyrene cups and plates, plastic straws, plastic food ware, and other plastic packaging and food trays should be added to a list of problematic plastics for future policy and education campaigns. Ideally, a future ban like in France should take place.
  • Microplastics (fibres, film, pellets and beads) also need to be managed – either through bans, take back schemes, filtration systems or simply using alternative, non-disposable, or organic items
  • Action needs to be taken towards disposal of cigarette butts which are plastic fibres and usually contaminated with chemicals.
  • Provide incentives for outlets to use compostable crockery such as the brand BioPak, as alternatives to plastic
  • Put in place more bottle refilling stations to encourage people to bring their own bottle and not buy bottled a water
  • Provide better education around recycling, especially in schools
  • Provide more bins in public places, with a recycling bin alongside each one
  • Include tip fees in house rates to reduce illegal dumping
  • More monitoring and strict prosecution of people who dump illegally
  • Advertise and encourage more clean-ups, more often
  • Re-introduce littering advertisements on television
  • Put filters on washing machines to prevent synthetic remnants from entering the drain system
  • Collect and monitor rubbish at tributaries, particularly after the first flood of the season, as is done in Port Douglas, FNQ
  • Introduce soft plastics recycling in all cities, not just major ones
  • Effective implementation of the Container Deposit Scheme scheduled for 2017
  • Provide funding for programs for non-profit groups working on the ground to reduce plastic in the environment Eg. Boomerang Bags, Tangaroa Blue and other community initiatives such as the Drain Stencil Project that spread the message about litter polluting the Great Barrier Reef

Click here to complete the Qld Government survey now

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DIY: Almond Milk

You’ll need:

1 cup almonds
4 cups water
Muslin cloth or teatowel for straining

  1. Soak almonds overnight in water
  2. Strain soaked water and rinse almonds
  3. Place in blender and add 4 cups of water
  4. Blend until smooth and creamy
  5. Strain blended mixture through muslin cloth or tea towel
  6. Voila! Your almond milk is ready to drink

You’ve also made almond meal (left inside the muslin material) freeze it to use in for smoothies, cakes and more!

You may want to change the ratio of water to almonds to suit your taste – more water = less creamy but more quantity, less water = more creamy but lower quantity milk (and more expensive)


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How to Make Beeswax Reusable Food Wraps




  • Beeswax, grated
  • 100% cotton fabric
  • Baking paper
  • Grater (used only for beeswax)
  • Paintbrush
  • Makeshift clothes line

Using an Iron

  1. Cut the fabric to desired size using pinking shears to prevent the edges from fraying. Commonly used sizes include 34cmx33cm, 28cmx29cm and 19cmx20cm. You can customize size and shaped to suit the items you want to cover.
  2. Place the fabric on a piece of baking paper and sprinkle evenly and lightly with grated beeswax. Its best to start out with less than you think because it is easy to add more if needed.
  3. Cover with a second piece of baking paper and iron gently so the wax melts and spread across the fabric. If you press too hard the melted wax will come out the sides of the paper.
  4. Carefully peel the fabric off the baking paper and hang on a makeshift clothesline to dry. Be careful as the fabric can be quite hot. Once cooled you can use it.


Using an oven

  1. Preheat oven to 85oC
  2. Cut the fabric to desired size using pinking shears to prevent the edges from fraying. Commonly used sizes include 34cmx33cm, 28cmx29cm and 19cmx20cm. You can customize size and shaped to suit the items you want to cover.
  3. Place on cooking tray covered with baking paper or foil.
  4. Sprinkle evenly and lightly with beeswax. You need less than you think!
  5. Place in the preheated oven and watch until all the wax is melted. This should take 5 minutes or less.
  6. Once the beeswax is just melted, remove from oven and use a paintbrush to spread the wax evenly to cover any areas that are not yet coated.
  7. Hang on a makeshift clothesline to dry. Be careful as the fabric can be quite hot. Once cooled you can use it.


  • Wash in cool water with a mild soap. While they can be used for meat it is best to allocate particular wraps for that use to prevent spreading bacteria.


  • If you think the fabric is not coated enough you can add a little more beeswax and repeat the heating process you have chosen.
  • Sometimes the wraps take a few uses to reach their sticking potential. Scrunching them up a few times tends to get the beeswax working.
  • It is also useful to warm them up with your hands before using to help them stick better.
  • Wraps should last several months. If they start to lose their stickiness, just add some more beeswax.

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Plastic Free July: Weekly Catchup 1

Weekly Catchups Flyers

Plastic Free July is here: first weekly catch-up is Thursday 7th July

The power of social change rests in coming together.

So let’s meet up this Thursday and share our Plastic Free July stories and learn tricks and tips from each other and some special guests who are plastic free veterans.

We’ll be meeting every Thursday in July at 5.30pm at the Hammock Cafe (70 Abbott St Cairns) to share stories, run plastic free workshops and giveaway some cool prizes!

Week 1 Program Thurs 7th July:

5.30 pm – Meet & greet
5.45 pm – Dilemma Bag: Tell us what you couldn’t avoid
6.00 pm – Successes!! Tell us what went well!
6.30pm – Activity Time: scrumptious Plastic Free recipe sharing and toothpaste making workshop
7.15 pm – Snacks and relax, Hammock Café closes

Check out the Facebook event 

We hope to see you there!

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Plastic Free July: ‘Bag it’ Screening wrap up


Thanks to everyone who came out for our ‘Bag it: Is your life too plastic?’ film screening and how to fundraise night on Thursday 30th of June.

We had a full house – apologies to those who missed out!

Check out the pictures from the night and in case you missed it, check out the trailer for ‘Bag it’ here

If you still need to make a GoFundraise page for Plastic Free July click here!









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Plastic Free July: Family Fun Beach Day pictures

We had a great day at Yorkeys Knob on Saturday 25th of June launching Plastic Free July FNQ with our Family Fun Beach Day!

Sandcastles, BBQ, drain stencilling, bag painting, colouring in, singing, plastic free living demos and giveaways!

Check out some of the pictures and a special video made by PhlipVids above, and coverage in the Cairns Post below.


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Bags hand screen printed with our ‘Plastic: It All Adds Up’ logo for the event


Some of the great prizes for sand castle building!


Paint your own bag


Drain stencil project


Colouring in (want to print and colour your own? Download it here)


No Waste No Worries plastic free living display


Purging Plastics display


Tangaroa Blue


Ditch plastic straws!


Plastic bag and coffee cup waste display


Lovely tunes


Sand castle comp in action


Sand castle comp in action


Drain stencil project


Nemo facepaint


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It All Adds Up: Family Fun Beach Day


Join our Family Fun Beach Day!


Date : Saturday, June 25
Time: 02:00 – 05:30 PM
Location: Yorkeys Knob Foreshore Park (Northern Sims Esplanade)

A family friendly event for all ages that aims to raise awareness about plastic consumption and its effects on our environment.

With Plastic Free July just around the corner, we would love to show the community what the every-day person can do to reduce their plastic usage, in a fun way!

This event is part of the team’s new campaign called “It All Adds Up”, which hopes to send a positive message and empower the community to make a change.

Some activities planned for the day include:
1. Sand competition
2. Paint your own re-usable calico bag
3. Drain stencilling drains with the message “This Drains to the Great Barrier Reef” – council approved activity
4. Marine Debris – “Where Does This Come From?” game
5. Colouring in activities
6. Tips and ideas for living plastic free

There will also be a sausage sizzle, and there are awesome prizes to be won!

So come on down to the esplanade (North end near the playground) for some fun outdoor activities, we hope to see you all there!

Contact person: Bess Murphy – 0409 696 939


Join our Facebook event
Plastic Free July
“It All Adds Up”
Drain Stencil Project

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Bag It film screening & how to fundraise for Plastic Free July

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Join us the night before Plastic Free July kicks off for some motivation – courtesy of Bag It! – the film


Date : Thursday, June 30
Time: 06:00 – 09:00 PM
Location: Hammock Cafe, 70 Abbott St, Cairns City, QLD 4870

Bring along your pillows, blankets and snacks to settle in for a passion-igniting story of an average man’s journey to discovering the issue of plastic and ways to overcome its consumptive powers.

Tickets are FREE, but must be booked via Eventbrite.

“Try going a day without plastic. Plastic is everywhere and infiltrates our lives in unimaginable and frightening ways. In this touching and often flat-out-funny film, we follow “everyman” Jeb Berrier, who is admittedly not a tree hugger, as he embarks on a global tour to unravel the complexities of our plastic world. What starts as a film about plastic bags evolves into a wholesale investigation into plastic and its effects on our waterways, oceans, and even our own bodies. We see how our crazy-for-plastic world has finally caught up to us and what we can do about it. Today. Right now.”

Pssst… we will also be launching our very own short film on plastic pollution – be amongst the first to see it!

This event is part of the team’s new campaign called “It All Adds Up”, which hopes to send a positive message and empower the community to make a change. We will also have a discussion on tips and tricks for fundraising for Plastic Free July to help people along the journey.

Want to get involved in Plastic Free July?
1. Make your Plastic Free July Pledge.
2. Help us fundraise (or make a donation yourself).
3. Follow our facebook and subscribe to our upcoming events.


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