A Stawell community group has gotten behind an international movement to reduce plastic usage this month.
Stawell's War on Waste group is helping promote Plastic Free July, a worldwide push for individuals and communities to either find ways to reduce use of single-use plastic or rule out plastic completely for the month.
The group set up on Stawell's Main Street at the weekend to spread the word about Plastic Free July and to try and sign people up for the month.
"We asked people to make a pledge, as big or small as you can manage," Stawell' War on Waste member Jenny Greenberger said.
"There are a few ways to get involved, whether it be using a keep cup for your coffee, avoiding plastic straws or going completely plastic free.
"It isn't necessarily about giving everything up, more just about starting small somewhere and building from that."
Earlier in the year, the group introduced Boomerang Bags at Newton's Butchers to reduce the use of plastic bags. Ms Greenberger said the group is in the process of expanding the Boomerang Bags initiative.
The environmental group is also taking proactive measures to grow a food sharing co-op in Stawell.
"On July 20 between 1 and 4pm we will launch the new look Food Share Cooperative. We have bulk amounts of food, which has been sourced locally, which people can buy and place in containers," Ms Greenberger said.
Members of the co-op would have access to bulk amounts of core food at Stawell Neighbourhood House, significantly reducing the amount of plastic food wrapping.
The group also recently purchased a flour mill after receiving a grant from Northern Grampians Shire Council, giving them the ability to create their own flour.
"Anyone can buy spelt grain and then come in and grind it yourself to make flour, it is pretty impressive," Ms Greenberger said.
The co-op launch on July 20 will also include a demonstration of how to use the grain mill, with group member Helga Saunders showing how to use the spelt flour to create sourdough bread, pasta and scones.
Learn more about Plastic Free July and how to reduce your plastic usage at www.plasticfreejuly.org
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