Plastic Free Manly


Thanks to everyone that came along to the film screening of Straws last Sunday at 4 Pines Truck Bar in Brookvale. If you couldn’t make it on the night here is a little recap and some actions that you can do to keep our sea plastic straw free!


Straws is a wonderful documentary that covers all you need to know about the history of straws, the impact of plastic straws in the oceans, the cost of plastic straws in the hospitality waste-stream and the benefits of going plastic-free. There were some wonderful interviews, including The Last Plastic Straw founder, Jackie Nunez and the turtle researchers that pulled a straw out of a turtle’s nostril, Nathan Robinson and Christine Figgener. But the highlight for me was the inspiration school student Max Muchum who started the #nostrawchallenge (#sinpajillaporfavor) in Costa Rica. His call to action was just so simple- he can’t do this alone. In the movie, as he is making bamboo straws for local restaurants, he realizes that he can’t possibly talk to every venue in Costa Rica. Just like I can’t reach every restaurant, bar and café on the Northern Beaches. That’s where we need your help!


We were inspired by Kiera Murphy, the sustainability lover at 4 Pines Brewery. She leads the way in using business as a force for good and shared the story of straws at 4 Pines. Although they are well known for their beers, they do have cocktails and sodas and these are all straw-free. There are paper straws on standby for those with medical reasons that absolutely need a straw but otherwise most drinks can be drunk without a straw. 4 Pines is also going to be partnering with community groups to help support clean-ups on the Northern Beaches so we are looking forward to using any supplies they can donate for our next beach clean!

We also heard from Farley MacDonald, founder of Convenient for Who and the straws petition on to Northern Beaches Council. She was selling Sprocket & Steel straws for another inspirational teenager, Kiara who started her own business after watching the documentary “Garbage Island”.

We were also lucky to hear from Harriet Spark, aka The Grumpy Turtle, about her love for the ocean and how she faces the overwhelming plastic problem every day. As a local beach cleaner who knows that straws are entering the water at an alarming rate every day, she proposed that we all “be the change” and keep going, because awareness is growing.


There are more than 1000 signatures on the petition and we added another 63 on the night. If you haven’t already signed the petition, please add your name here!


Metal, bamboo or paper!

Here are some places to get your hands on these alternatives: Sprocket & Steel, Greenpack.

This list is clearly not exhaustive and we’d like to set up a supplier list for all plastic alternatives, so if you want to be on the list, drop me a line.


Anyone can help our campaign! Next time you’re at your local café, bar or restaurant, ask for “No plastic straw please” and start the conversation. If you know a place that would like to raise awareness about straws and start the transition away from straws, we have “No Straw Thanks” posters that they can use. It can be downloaded from Plastic Free Manly soon or drop me a line to have this customized for your town. We also have “Proudly Plastic Straw Free” posters if it’s a venue that has already made the change.


We are lucky to receive funding from the legends at Sea Life Trust and Manly Sea Life Sanctuary, who also kindly donated a family pass to the aquarium for our raffle. Taronga Conservation Society also donated tickets for our raffle. We had some cool 4 Pines Brewery Tour and caps donated for the raffle. And a rad waterproof Patagonia bag that everyone was frothing over! Thanks so much to these supporters that helped raise money for our campaign through the raffle. These funds will go towards the screening rights for the movie and our plastic pollution campaigns.

We look forward to seeing you at the next event- a beach clean, aquarium tour and outdoor movie screening of A Plastic Ocean!

Written by Alicia Lloyd, Project Manager of SO Manly

Tank the Turtle

What an enthusiastic and wonderful bunch of little Eco Warriors!! Thanks Brookvale Childrens Centre for having Tank and the team come to visit and talk about ways we can help reduce plastic.

If you would like Tank the Turtle to come and visit your school or pre-school please get in contact at with us at SO Manly or Plastic Free Manly.

Ocean Care Day 2016

It just wouldn't be Ocean Care Day without a parade of people dressed as their favourite marine creatures dancing to the beats of samba music! Such a fun way to kick off the day and we couldn't help having a little dance too as the sharks and jellyfish floated by our stall.

Plastic Free Manly

The highlight of the morning for us at SO Manly was a visit from the Northern Beaches Council Administrator, Dick Persson. He told us that our project to reduce single-use plastic on the Northern Beaches was being recommended for approval, meaning that we would have funding for this campaign in 2017. We believe it was the success of Plastic Free Manly in 2016 that led to this wonderful news so we'd like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to the Plastic Free Manly volunteers that made this possible!!

Valerie Taylor Art Award

During the opening ceremony we heard from Valerie Taylor as she announced April Greer to be the winner of the Valerie Taylor Art Award. In the art tent, the applicants displayed their entries along with other art works. It was clear that the panel of judges had a tough choice as there were some great ideas for the Celebration of Sanctuaries street art. April will be painting a mural in Market Lane in January 2017 so watch this space for more news on our marine sanctuaries campaign.

Boomerang Bags manly launch

The Boomerang Bag community have been busy working to have enough bags to supply the Manly area and today we celebrated their fabulous effort. There are 14 businesses that have signed up to host a Boomerang Bag box in their shop which means that there will be #noexcuseforsingleuse in Manly. If you forget to BYO Bag you can pick up a Boomerang Bag to borrow and bring it back with you next time you shop. Also, if you're feeling generous, you can donate some of your extra green bags to the box to save someone next time. And if you love to sew, head to the Boomerang Bag Headquarters at 63 Alexander Street, Manly (entry on Balgowlah Road opposite the pool) on Mondays from 9:30am to 2:30pm. Check out @BoomerangBagsManly for updates.

Seaside Scavenge

We were super stoked that our stall was directly opposite the Seaside Scavenge. All day we saw people being rewarded for their beach cleaning efforts. The Seaside Scavenge is not just any beach clean- its market where you trade trash for treasure and listen to good tunes! We enjoyed the chilled vibes of Portia Briana Music and the blissful strings of mermaid Miska. We also learned even more about our little plastic problem with some great trivia from Captain Plastic (Plastic Pollution Solutions). Find out more about the day and the next Seaside Scavenge here.

Shark Rally- no shark nets

Hundreds of ocean-loving friends gathered on the beach to listen to key speakers and protest the out-dated shark net program in NSW. We've had some progress with the government trialing new initiatives to protect swimmers but it seems to have gone backwards recently with new nets being rolled out and the use of "smart drumlines" (lets be clear, it is not smart to bait a hook bringing sharks closer to swimmers and catching other wildlife in the process). The unfortunate fact is that its not possible to protect 100% of surfers and swimmers all the time because there will always be a very small risk. No matter what measure is taken, there will always be human-shark interactions if we swim in the water and some might result in a bite or fatality but that is unavoidable. Culling sharks, along with turtles, rays and countless other by-catch is not the answer to alleviating our fears. Find out more on this issue at Sea Shepherd and Fin Free Sydney.

Thanks for making this day such a special celebration of our local marine life!

Plastic Free Manly End of Year Blitz

The wonderful team of volunteers from Plastic Free Manly took to the streets today to ask Manly businesses about their use of plastic bags. Businesses were given information about the Plastic Free Manly campaign and the soon-to-be-launched Boomerang Bags which can help businesses make the transition to be plastic-free!

If you're a business that would like to go plastic-free, get in touch with Plastic Free Manly. They can provide posters for your store and staff training to assist with your transition.

If you'd like to inspire the places you shop to go plastic-free and join a team of like-minded people, head to Plastic Free Manly or drop us a line at SO Manly and we'll hook you up!