WHO ARE WE?
Plastic Free Places is run by the Boomerang Alliance. We are the peak community not-for-profit organisation working on waste minimisation and recycling in Australia, formed in 2003 and currently comprised of 51 national, state and local allies. We research key issues, develop policy, undertake education, and campaign for best practice laws and programs by government and business.
Over the years, we have successfully worked on the introduction of container deposit schemes, plastic bag bans, e-waste recycling, stopping waste tyre dumping and reducing plastic microbead pollution. Our current focus is on the multiple sources of plastic pollution, particularly in the marine environment.
Our core goal is to transition to a zero-waste society by leveraging strategic opportunities to drive best practice resource efficiency and recovery.
We have a strong history around plastic policy and implementation including:
active membership of several Government Advisory Committees on container deposit schemes.
contracted by councils and governments around Australia to deliver Plastic Free Places.
membership of the Federal Government's National Waste Policy Roundtable.
delivering senior advice on Queensland's plastic bag ban and membership of the Government's Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan Technical Working Group.
working with the South Australian Government's single-use plastics taskforce.
contracted by the Western Australian Government to deliver the Community Research, Consultation and Education Plan for the WA plastic bag ban.
THE PLASTIC FREE PLACES TEAM
Toby Hutcheon - Campaigns Manager
Toby has worked on environmental issues for 30 years. He started at Greenpeace on the Nuclear Free Seas campaign, dividing his time between the office and the bows of nuclear warships. He was Greenpeace Australia’s first Action Coordinator, managed the Communications Division, and helped initiate the ‘green’ Sydney Olympics. He moved to Europe in 1996, working on the Chernobyl Campaign for Greenpeace in Moscow.
Toby was the Executive Director of the Qld Conservation Council from 2004-2014, and has tertiary qualifications in education, marketing and journalism. As our Campaigns Manager, he creates the strategies and actions to run our successful campaigns, and works with governments on policy. He believes that we can all make a difference.
Kellie Lindsay- Program Manager
Kellie oversees the management of the Plastic Free Places program and helps develop the systems and partnerships that drive it. She obtained a business degree before pursuing an environmental career, further obtaining a Master’s in Environmental Management. She has managed the program since its inception in late 2016, and prior to this, helped implement successful campaigns for a container refund scheme and plastic bag ban in Qld.
‘The key to the success of this program has been direct engagement with our members and the behind the scenes work we do to make it easy for them to switch. We work to support them, to make it straight-forward, and deliver real solutions to these businesses'.
Amy Matheson - Communications Coordinator
An experienced environmental campaigner and waste educator with a background studying journalism, Amy specialises in communication and engagement. She works both as our Research and Communications Coordinator, and the coordinator of our WA Plastic Free project. She aims to use her skills to inspire others to reduce their footprint on the planet.
“My passions and interests are many - but fundamentally what drives me is a desire to help cultivate kindness. Whether that’s kindness towards each other, our wonderful world and all its creatures or towards ourselves”.
Clare Sullivan - Coordinator, Plastic Free Byron
Clare is passionate about environmental issues and how we can address them at an individual level. Having completed a Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management, she has worked as an Environmental Scientist and has volunteered in local groups, campaigning for coastal protection and plastic pollution issues.
Traveling to remote parts of Indonesia and Europe and experiencing first hand the issue of plastic pollution was a compelling reason to try and help create change.
Back home in Byron Bay, Clare enjoys being a part of a consciously minded community where working with a wide range of hospitality businesses highlights a strong level of engagement on both social and environmental issues.
Taryn Hansen - Coordinator, Plastic Free SA
Taryn joined us after completing a double bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Arts, specialising in environmental management and community development.
She has always had a keen interest in urban environmental issues, completing a project in Cambodia working on solutions waste management problems in tourist dense areas. This saw her implementing a rotation model for beer bottles, working with regional breweries, pubs, restaurants, and local labour channels to identify the opportunities and barriers in the creation of a circular chain for bottled beer.
Back home in Adelaide, Taryn is putting her skills to good use as she works with our local businesses to help them shift away from single-use-use plastic!
Helen Reilly - Coordinator, Plastic Free Cairns
A Cairns local, Helen is an advocate for positive change in the urban community and environment. She is keen to provide support to the community who both depend upon and play a role as custodians of the reef, whether they are locals or visitors.
Helen has a background in Town Planning and Urban Design, and as part of her studies in Counselling she actively supports the community through regular volunteering with a number of local agencies.
As a former mobile coffee cart and cafe owner, Helen understands the challenges that businesses may face and enjoys assisting them in finding suitable plastic-free, compostable and reusable alternatives to suit their needs.
Diana Condylas - Coordinator, Plastic Free Townsville
Diana is a connector and a communicator, with a passion for community. In 2010, she founded a group to encourage community connection around health, environmental consciousness, local and seasonal food, supporting local growers, and thought-provoking conversation to strengthen the Townsville community. Friendships were made and networks were formed. The group was called Food for Thought, and it continues today.
After a career as a nutritionist, she spent the last ten years volunteering with not-for-profit organisations. Most recently she was involved with Toy Libraries Australia supporting Queensland toy libraries to thrive and promote the “borrow. play. return” message to reduce consumption and landfill. She is curious, enthusiastic and loves finding solutions.