Merri-bek Council gets plastic wise at local events (Media Release)

Did you know that single-use plastic like straws, balloons and polystyrene make up nearly 50 per cent of the pollution found in waterways?

That’s plastic that ends up in places like Merri Creek, Westbreen Creek and Port Phillip Bay.

Last week Merri-bek Council joined a number of other councils when Councillors endorsed the Plastic Wise Policy, a policy that moves towards eliminating the use of single-use plastic within Council’s own operations as well as at Council run events.

Moreland Mayor Cr Natalie Abboud said Council had been making the move towards reducing plastic at festivals and events over the last few years.

“The move to reduce single-use plastics at Council events began in 2015, followed by a Council Resolution in 2016 to stop using single-use plastic bags at festivals and events,” said Cr Abboud.

“Our Arts and Culture Unit has been working with stallholders over the years to reduce the reliance on plastic bags, and the use of balloons from all Council run festivals and events.

“Our new Plastic Wise Policy will see the reduction in single-use plastic expand beyond our festivals and events, to all events presented by Council and events held on Council land.

“Taking this step addresses our concerns as a Council about the long-term environmental damage that plastic is having on our open spaces, waterways and marine environment.”

The Plastic Wise Policy will apply to:

  • Single use plastic bags
  • Plastic cups, plates, bowls, straws, cutlery and take away containers
  • Single-use disposable cups and lids
  • Avoidable plastic packaging such as cling wrap, plastic bags or similar
  • Balloons

Re-usable event materials such as promotional banners and flags are encouraged to be used where possible, and event sites and venues must be left litter free and returned to pre-event conditions.

Moreland sporting clubs, aquatic and leisure centres and facilities managed by contractors can continue to sell single use plastic bottles while Council engages with them on the best ways to introduce the changes. Council will encourage clubs to provide access to drinking water and to supply, sell and promote reusable options.

17 April 2019