Zero Plastics by Mid-2020

Great news! Single-use plastics will no longer be issued from Victoria’s Bayside Council’s Corporate Centre and libraries by the end of June this year.

Other Council-owned properties such as community centres and senior citizen centres will stop using single-use plastics by the end of June 2020 as Council commits to a future of zero single-use plastics.

This great initiative was proposed by Elizabeth Jensen President of Marine Care Ricketts Point who explained: “Beach Patrol volunteers spend countless hours cleaning rubbish from our beaches. By far the single biggest waste item we collect is plastics. Over 95% of rubbish on our beaches comes from the rivers and stormwater drains of Port Phillip Bay. This decision will help save our marine life and keep our beaches safe.”

“Micro-plastics are known to be harmful to marine life. Once plastics enter the waters, they contaminate and accumulate in marine wildlife through ingestion. There is evidence that plastic particles and associated chemicals have already entered the human food chain such as in mussels. When ingested, they may harm human health.

Council should be applauded for their leadership in banning single-use plastics associated with Council premises. This will help reduce the amount of plastic we find on beaches. It is a matter of time that other municipalities and neighbouring communities will also follow this great initiative.”

Dr Vicki Karalis, AM, President of Sandringham Foreshore Association said: “Council’s unanimous decision last Tuesday night to eliminate single-use plastics from Council premises and leases shows great leadership. There was widespread support from many leading community groups, including Marine Care Ricketts Point, Beaumaris Conservation Society, Sandringham Foreshore Association, Beach Patrol Australia and Bayside Climate Change Action Group. Cr Laurie Evans noted the vote was ‘Driven by the Community’.

Council’s focus on educating the community about the issue of single-use plastics and its intention to engage with schools and the broader community is a very positive way to move forward. Many community groups have committed to working with Council to help achieve an outstanding result. We look forward to many other Councils throughout Melbourne following this lead.” said Greg Mier, President of Beaumaris Conservation Society.

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