Two Deception Bay women are campaigning for dome plastic lids to be banned alongside plastic straws and cutlery in a bid to protect birds, lizards and marine life.
Wendy Wallin and Julie Jess have a petition on change.org, which has more than 3500 signatures and are calling on the State Government to ban the lids found on takeaway drink cups and ice cream sundaes.
It all started when a Corella, which was a regular visitor to Julie’s garden, turned up one day with a dome lid stuck around its neck.
Attempts to catch the bird, and free it, were unsuccessful and it vanished. Julie believes it died.
She showed Wendy a photo she took of the bird and she knew she had to do something.
“I often find littered on my local beach, or floating in the shallows, hazardous fishing line and discarded takeaway containers, including these plastic ‘dome lid nooses’ and many solid ring seals from under plastic caps,” Wendy explains.
“The risk doesn't only lie in dome lids being trapped around the neck of a poor creature, they also resemble jelly fish in the water.
“On my daily walks, I pick up discarded dome lids in shopping centre car parks, gutters, beaches, community parks and playgrounds. These items are lethal to all wildlife.”
The lids were not included in the Waste Reduction and Recycling (Plastic Items) Amendment Bill 2020, but the campaigners hope they will be added at some stage.
In the meantime, they want consumers to say no to the lids when ordering takeaway. If they must use a lid, they should cut it in half before disposing of it in a recycling bin.
“The ultimate goal now is to educate people. They need to realise the hazards,” Wendy says.
“We’re trying to make people think of these things differently. We can do better.”
She says half-full drinks and ice creams should not be carelessly discarded, where birds and lizards might be tempted to take a sip and get stuck.
They are also calling on people to pick up litter, when the see it.
“We’ll never be able to stop people from throwing litter on the ground, and big corporations are not going to change unless they have to because they have years of supplies of this stuff,” Ms Jess says.
“We want companies that buy or make them to come up with a solution.”
Ideally, this solution would involve flat lids made from recycled cardboard, which do not have a hole but instead have a cross that can be perforated in the middle. They believe dome lids are unnecessary and could easily be replaced by a safer alternative, or no lid at all.
“It’s about saving wildlife from human convenience,” Wendy says.
“We’ve all got to play a part in this. I think most people would care, if they knew.”
The pair believes plastic ring seals on jars and bottles pose the same risk, and they would like to see them banned too.
The petition can be found at http://chng.it/w82TGW9TDp