Note: Make the Switch officially ended on July 31, 2021, due to the end of allocated funding for the project. However the good work of our members continues to live on!
Name: Make the Switch (operating under Plastic Free Byron brand)
Community: Byron Shire, NSW
Project Initiated: April 2018
On-ground commencement: July 2018
Project Model: Whole of community, open to all food retailers in Byron Shire, plus selected markets & events
Co-ordinator: Coral Latella (Year 1), Clare Sullivan (Year 2 & 3)
Project Partners: Byron Shire Council, Plastic Free Byron
Funding Bodies: Byron Shire Council, under a NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the Waste Levy
Note that there was a gap in on-ground work from April 1-Aug 15, 2019 due to funding constraints. The program ceased operation on August 1, 2021.
Our impact as at August 1, 2021 is...
*Plastic Free Champions are members that have eliminated all of our key plastic items (straws, coffee cups & lids, takeaway containers & lids, food ware (cutlery, plates, cups etc), water bottles & bags).
Transitioned the majority of Byron Community Market food vendors to plastic free.
Byron Community Market, Byron Artisan Market and Mullumbimby Agricultural Show developed plastic-free policies and detailed action plans, and improved waste management processes - including introducing composting streams and managing bin signage and collection.
Implemented a water refill network to enable locals and visitors to find places to refill their water bottles.
Implemented a trial with Byron Council to provide businesses with affordable reusable water bottles to on-sell for a profit as a viable alternative to selling single-use water bottles.
Created new linkages between major manufacturers and local suppliers to better accommodate product needs in the Byron area.
Worked with local supplier Greenpack to provide product discounts to members.
Increased resources for local events, including better signage, and worked to improve access for local events to to reusable systems.