We want a plastic-free Macquarie University!
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Dear Vice-Chancellor, Professor S Bruce Dowton and Macquarie University Executive,
Petition to Phase out single-use plastics.
As students of Macquarie University, the Macquarie University Centre for Environmental Law, and the Macquarie University Sustainability Squad, this petition represents the unified voices of those on campus calling for a transition away from the unnecessary use of single use plastics at Macquarie University.
Plastic pollution is one of the most threatening and truly global, environmental issues today. Single use plastics take up to a thousand years to degrade and will sit in our landfills and pollute our waterways for generations, affecting wildlife, ecosystems, and billions who rely on a healthy ocean and environment. In 2050, it is projected that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish and an estimated 95% of seabirds will have ingested plastic.
The Macquarie University ‘Strategic Priorities’ list ‘international presence’ and a ‘vibrant and sustainable campus’ as two key priorities. It is our view that the continued use of single-use plastics does not adhere to Macquarie University’s commitment to the principles of sustainability and fails to acknowledge the impacts of plastic pollution at a global level.
As such a large institution — with over 40,200 students and 3,200 staff - a substantial amount of waste is generated. We urge the Vice-Chancellor and Macquarie University Executive to uphold our Strategic Priorities and commence the phase out of single-use plastics. In particular, we are calling for:
1) immediate discontinued use of branded and unbranded balloons (and the need to source more sustainable alternatives for promotional and celebratory material). These are hazardous substances that can be replaced by other merchandise or paraphernalia.
2) immediate ban on plastic bags
3) commence a phase-out of plastic straws, cutlery and take-away food containers
4) commence a sustainable café program, calling on businesses to discount drink purchases for people who supply the cup; sale of reusable cups on campus and commence research to source more sustainable cup alternatives
It is time to turn towards more sustainable alternatives that do not cause unnecessary harm to the environment, humans and wildlife. The convenience of single-use plastic is not worth the destruction of our only planet, so let’s make Macquarie University a leader in sustainability and take the first steps to a brighter future.
Please share this petition widely! We thank you for any support to create a more sustainable campus and improve the health of our waterways and environment.
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