On 5 June 2017, Council resolved to eliminate single-use plastic items in an eight-part resolution.
Every piece of plastic that has ever been made still exists somewhere in the world. Plastic is designed to last forever, yet every day we use many plastic products that are thrown away after only a few minutes. Much of this plastic ends up in landfill or as litter in our environment. It is estimated that eight million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in freshwater and marine environments each year; polluting water and harming wildlife.
As part of this resolution, on 26 February 2018 Council endorsed a new Single-use Plastic Free Events Policy to eliminate single-use plastic products at events run by Council and events held on Council land. The policy extends to all council owned buildings, venues and roads and aims to reduce the harm caused by single-use plastic products.
The policy outlines Councils commitment to:
- Eliminate single-use plastic bags
- Eliminate single-use plastic plates, bowls, cups, straws, cutlery and take away food containers
- Eliminate bottled water, and provide alternative, free access to water
- Avoid plastic packaging
- Eliminate balloons at events
- Reuse event materials where possible
- Educate and guide event staff and audience on single-use plastic free practices
Read the Single-Use Plastic Free Events Policy.
We have welcomed the state-wide shopping bag ban which commenced in November 2019. We'll continue our advocacy to the State Government for more actions, but we'll also be working with our community - our residents and traders - to support and encourage them to make a commitment to eliminating single-use plastic.
Support for Local Businesses
The Plastic Free Darebin Business Guide is now available. The practical guide was developed in consultation with our local businesses, and will help them eliminate single-use plastics in their operations. It includes information about alternative products to single-use plastics, steps to go single-use plastic free, a waste audit template, and more.
Wangim is a community-led initiative funded by Darebin City Council which aims to remove the need for single-use cups. Wangim is the local Woiwurrung word for boomerang, and, just like a boomerang, the program works by having customers collect their coffee in a special takeaway Wangim mug and then returning it to a participating café on their next trip. To find out more, visit Wangim website.
Our Sustainable Business team offers support and advice on a range of matters including energy and waste. Through our annual Sustainability Matters event, traders are able to connect with other local sustainable businesses. To find out more, visit www.darebin.vic.gov.au/sustainablebusiness
Plastic Free July
Plastic Free July aims to raise awareness of the amount of single-use disposable plastic items we use, and challenges us to do something about it. You can help reduce plastic consumption by taking one simple action a week, or say NO to all single-use plastics for a day, a week or the whole month.
Here are some ideas for everyday actions to reduce single-use plastic waste:
Take your reusable cup to the café next time you’re buying a takeaway coffee or tea. You can also help spread the word by encouraging your friends to bring their reusable cup too, or asking your local café to become a responsible café.
- Bring your own containers for your takeaway lunch and shopping at deli to avoid meals and other items pre-packaged in plastic. You don't need a new container - just reuse what you already have.
- It takes between three-seven litres of water and one litre of oil to make just one litre of bottled water1,2. Choose tap water and carry a refillable water bottle with you. Don’t know where to fill up? Find your closest water refilling station here.
- Go plastic packaging free and try a ‘nude’ food lunch. Ditch the plastic wrap and use a lunchbox or fabric wrap for your sandwich instead.
To sign up for the Plastic Free July challenge and for more info, tips and hints, visit the Plastic Free July website here.