PLASTIC FREE PLACES TRIALS IN VICTORIA
January 25, 2020
We're running two new trial programs in Victoria!
Alongside Glen Eira Council, Elsternwick (Melbourne) was the first community to get on board, with Mt Martha (Mornington Peninsular) a close second. We’re working with the council and 18 local businesses in each community to assist them to switch away from single-use plastic items, addressing barriers that prevent many businesses from successfully switching. Participating businesses are aiming to eliminate single-use plastics such as coffee cups and lids, cutlery, straws and takeaway containers during the six-month trials. The success of the trials could lead to larger programs.
As part of the program, we spent a week in each community to assist business owners and managers better understand how to transition away from single-use plastics.
A recent follow up, just six weeks into the trials, have shown that businesses are already making significant changes, with several working to remove key problem items. Not only are we seeing a switch to compostable alternatives, which are much less harmful in the environment, but many participants are now encouraging their customers to reduce their use of disposables and to participate in reusable systems like ‘swap and go’ cup and container network system Returnr. The businesses have been putting up fun signage showing the community how to get involved in reducing waste. One business is even making the next step to compost their food waste and compostable packaging.
They are all also bound by the plastic bag ban which came into force on Nov 1 last year, but many elected to switch to paper bags rather than simply swapping to thicker plastic bags.
It’s still early days in the trials, with many businesses still working though old stock before making the switch, but the indications are that the plastic savings will increase as businesses embrace the project.
We will continue to support them through the changes.