Waste Not Bellingen is a group of dedicated change-makers who are reducing waste produced by the Bellingen community

  • “We are the people we have been waiting for.”

    – Native American saying

About Waste Not Bellingen

Donna Sowman and Alison Heeley – Waste Not Bellingen

Waste Not Bellingen is a collective of people passionate about promoting alternatives to single use plastic and reducing our waste footprint in the Bellingen shire. We don’t have a formal structure – we are all working on projects we are passionate about, and supporting each other along the way!

Waste Not Bellingen are the proud recipients of the 2017 Kazzie Award, and will be using this funding during 2018 to document their journey thus far and create a short film titled ‘Waste Not Bellingen: the story of how one small Australian town weaned themselves off single use plastic’.

To create an atmosphere of support and change, we meet up the first Wednesday night of every month from 7pm at the Bellingen Sustainability Centre to link up and connect with other individuals and groups, sharing ideas and supporting community initiatives on reducing waste.

We also host community workshops, forums and events and educate via social media – join our FB group.

All welcome!

Why focus on Single Use Plastics?

There is currently a high volume of single use plastic bags consumed within Bellingen.

We aim to:

  • Increase the proportion of reusable bags used in the township of Bellingen

  • Increase the availability of reusable bags

  • Increase environmental awareness and improve attitudes towards reducing plastic use

We raise awareness

We raise awareness in the community about their consumer choices and how they impact on the environment. Less single-use plastics means less waste going to landfill and less plastic in the environment to harm sealife and birdlife.

We approach retailers

Retailers have a strong potential role in providing convenient alternatives to single use plastic bags to consumers at the point of sale. Whilst there is a basic level of knowledge and understanding of the environmental impacts of plastic bags amongst consumers, this has not been reflected in the uptake of reusable shopping bags. There is a strong need to provide convenient alternatives and drive consumer behaviour change.

We work with other groups

There are several local environment youth groups who have strong interest in environmental protection, who can help engage our target audience, such as Youth Against Plastic. Bellingen boasts a vibrant local arts community that have the ability to engage a broad cross-section of the community in a meaningful and innovative way.

  • Getting the message out there

    Watch the Waste Not Bello group perform Tim Minchin’s “Canvas Bags” as a Flash Mob in 2017!

    Watch Video

Our Collaborators

Waste Not Bellingen works together with many other local groups to reduce waste. They have worked with:

  • Bellingen Chamber of Commerce
  • Coffs Coast Sustainable Living Festival
  • LeaF / Bellingen Winter Music Festival
  • Bellingen Chamber of Commerce
  • Mid North Coast Sustainability Education Network
  • Midwaste Regional Waste Forum
  • Plastic Bag Free NSW
  • Bellingen Shire Learning Alliance
  • Bellingen Sustainability Centre
  • Boomerang Bags Bellingen
  • Waste Not Bellingen

Waste Not Bellingen is looking to connect with many parts of the community to raise awareness of this important campaign. If you would like more information about Waste Not Bellingen or about a member of the group coming to talk to your organisation, please contact us using the form below:

“From the whale, sea lions, and birds to the microscopic organisms called zooplankton, plastic has been, and is, greatly affecting marine life on shore and off shore. In a 2006 report, Plastic Debris in the World’s Oceans, Greenpeace stated that at least 267 different animal species are known to have suffered from entanglement and ingestion of plastic debris. According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, plastic debris kills an estimated 100,000 marine mammals annually, as well as millions of birds and fishes.”

– Source plastic-pollution.org