The Last Straw on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is the Official Campaign © eradicating single-use plastic straws in venues operating on and around the GBR. Launching in 2016, by Marine Biologist Nicole Nash, the movement has seen 377 venues register, resulting in around 4.5million less plastic straws from being used per year.
The data that the campaign has collected was provided to the Queensland Parliament (read the full submission here) in August 2020. Nicole delivered the statistics of the campaign at the Public Hearing in Cairns on 4 August 2020 and has been advised by committee members that this assisted in the passing of the Waste Reduction and Recycling (Plastic Items) Amendment Bill 2021– Officially banning single use plastic items in Queensland.
‘It’s hard to believe that 5 years ago the mention of ‘plastic free’ made people run for the back of their kitchen. Fast forward to 2021, history has now been made in Queensland (QLD) – we demonstrated that communities can drive change without needing legislation to make it happen initially, and now legislation has supported this work for perpetuity.
377 venues and around 22.5 million straws eradicated since launching, it has been a journey with highs and lows but we did it! I always say we as without businesses joining things wouldn’t have eventuated like they have. My role as Founder and Manager is becoming redundant thanks to the success of this initiative, I knew we could achieve legislative backing but I hadn’t envisaged we could do it in under 5 years. Incredibly stoked to have been apart of supporting this change with you all. It’s nice to have been redundant in the BEST possible way I could have asked for ’
Nicole Nash founder of the Last Straw on the Great Barrier Reef
In true scientific form Nicole is seeking one last thing from the 377 venues who have joined, that is to respond to a short survey. Nicole is continuing to work with an amazing PhD student from the University of Tasmania and the Tangaroa Blue Foundation who are evaluating the success of Source Reduction Plans like this one by surveying businesses who have joined.
‘Some people believe legislation change is required prior to any effective on-ground works being shown (when it comes to waste), however the rate that venues eradicated plastic straws without Government’s influence proved otherwise! ‘ Nicole.