Newly-weds start new anti-waste business
An environmentally-conscious newly-wed Ettalong couple have launched a new online business to help spread the zero plastic waste movement on the Peninsula.
Mr and Mrs Tim and Ness Heffernan, launched their re-usable plastic alternative business, Untrashy in November 2018 as their own way to combat plastic pollution.
The Ettalong couple have always had one foot in humanitarian issues and the other in the ocean.
After a waterfront wedding at Hardys Bay and a rowdy ferry ride back to Ettalong Beach Hotel, the pair embarked on a six month honeymoon around Europe.
During their travels, the couple was shocked to see the sheer amount of plastic waste.
Inspired to make change, upon their return to Ettalong, they decided to launch Untrashy.
"Tim has a background as an aid worker and we've always been big beach people and our trip really was the push we needed to start the business," Mrs Heffernan said.
Two months on and Untrashy is thriving, with businesses across the Peninsula stocking their range of re-usable steel and glass straws, silicone wine glasses, biodegradable tote bags and bamboo cutlery.
Mrs Heffernan said the support the Peninsula community had given Untrashy over the past two months had been strong.
"The response from the community has been amazing.
"Our vision is for a future that is Untrashy and we've got products stocked at businesses across the Peninsula and the wider Central Coast" Mrs Heffernan said.
Indeed, Untrashy already has products stocked in bars, restaurants and other businesses in every state and territory in the country.
They also recently completed their first ever international product orders, with their wares going out to the UK and Canada.
Untrashy has also been invited to supply the Sydney Doesn't Suck zero-waste packs at the Carriageworks Summer Night Markets in February run by chef Kylie Kwong.
According to Mrs Heffernan, at its heart, Untrashy is about empowering people to make more sustainable choices in the war on single-use plastics.
"The issue with single-use plastic is that it all adds up," Mrs Heffernan said.
"Australians use 10 million plastic straws a day.
"That alone is 3.5 billion single use plastics going into waste per year and we want to see that change.
"They say by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
"That's crazy. We don't want to see that happen," Mrs Heffernan said.
"Sometimes making a change can really be as simple as using a re-usable straw.
"For a lot of people making that first choice to not use single use plastics plants the seed.
"For us that's the bigger picture.
"It's not really about straws or single use coffee cups, it's about the snowball effect a single decision can have on someone's whole outlook towards plastic waste.
"It really is about making the choice to be aware," Mrs Heffernan said.
"We're small now but we're doing big things.
"We've got big aspirations and we want to help as many Australians as we can become plastic free," Mrs Heffernan said.
Interview, 24 Jan 2019
Ness Heffernan, Untrashy
Reporter, Dilon Luke