Naturalist, TV star and all-round sweetheart Elissa Sursara has appealed to the public to ditch single-use plastic bags in an interview with Star 102.7 in Cairns, Australia. She told the station that single-serve coffee cups, plastic shopping bags, produce wrappers and plastic water bottles are finding their way into Australia’s waterways and killing marine wildlife.
Sursara has more than 200,000 followers on her popular Instagram page where she posts about wildlife and sustainability. She previously starred in the Animal Planet series Whale Wars before appearing on Totally Wild and on international radio.
She said when she posted about single-use plastic to the photo sharing site, most of her followers were suprised by where the plastic ended up.
“A lot of people think it’s recycled effectively,” she said.
Her pledge is timed with the launch of a new equality campaign, Parity, which aims to lobby government to improve environmental standards.
The blonde environmental activist, who has campaigned for wildlife issues since she was sixteen, says she uses recyclable linen totes and other biodegradables to shop and uses a Keep Cup to ensure she isn’t using wasteful plastic when picking up juices, teas and coffees.
“It’s a hard habit to break and it took me a long time to ditch plastic bags,” she told the station. “Once you’ve done it a few times, it becomes second nature to keep totes in your car and a reusable mug nearby, whether it’s in the car or at your desk.”
In Cairns to visit local attractions including the SkyRail and Rainforestation Nature Park, the Gold Coast local says she wishes more people would “throw their support” behind initiatives like The Project’s ‘Ban the Bag’. She urged listeners to sign the tv show’s petition and write to their local MPs to ask them to reach a single-use plastic consensus.
Sursara admits it can be hard to abstain from plastic, telling the station that while she has forgotten to bring her totes in the past, it was her boyfriend who renewed her sense of urgency on the issue.
“I fell out of the habit recently and ended up buying groceries with plastic bags. But I recieved some reusable totes from Biome Stores and tried to get back into it,” she confessed.
Speaking about her boyfriend’s motivation, Sursara said, “He’s very organised with his reusable bags and keeps them in the boot of his car. He even takes it a step further and keeps any plastic bags we might pick up after getting groceries or snacks so that he can reuse them again. He reminded me why it’s so important to ditch plastic. He’s pretty great with that kind of thing.”