Source Reduction Plans in Victoria

Bayside re sizedThis month we have concluded all our source reduction plan workshops in Victoria! The workshops were funded by the Port Phillip Bay Fund to support the new Port Phillip Bay Environmental Management Plan, in particular the goals that target litter reduction.

Source reduction plan workshops have now been delivered in all bay-side municipalities, spanning the entire circumference of Port Phillip Bay, plus the City of Melbourne and the City of Greater Dandenong. Community members and groups who attended the latest workshops implemented their source reduction plans in a variety of ways to reduce plastic pollution in their local area:

The Peninsula’s Last Straw, a source reduction plan collaboration between local community 32266464 1256612181139891 3157550288324263936 nmembers and Mornington Peninsula Shire, worked with businesses in Dromana to replace plastic straws with paper ones. Their project was rewarded with the Keep Victoria Beautiful Gift Fund Award, winning the group $1000 in support. This money has allowed Peninsula’s Last Straw to expand their efforts to Rye, where they have already convinced 4 local businesses to ditch plastic straws. More cafés are expected to follow suit over summer.

The City of Greater Dandenong’s volunteers are working with their local TAFE to reduce cigarette butt litter. Monthly butt clean-ups in smoker’s hotspots on campus yielded enough evidence of the need for smokers’ education about waterway pollution. A beautiful footpath art decal showing a snapper surrounded by cigarette butts (courtesy of Melbourne Water, Hobson’s Bay, Bayside Council and Marine Care Rickett’s Point) will be installed around campus to remind smokers where their littered butts eventually end up. With continuing support from Melbourne Water, the group will continue their monthly butt audits in 2019, to monitor if the ‘bin your butts’ message is landing with the mokers.

The Borough of Queenscliffe’s community wanted to see an end to balloon releases and balloon litter in their area. Project members contacted their local sporting clubs and schools about this issue. Their council’s sustainability officer, put forward a motion in a council meeting to ban balloons. The Councillors unanimously decided that not only are balloons to be banned from all council-organised/permitted events, but that this should become an official policy, as well as banning other single-use plastic items at events. It is expected the first draft of the policy will be ready in February of 2019.

In the City of Frankston, the source reduction plan was all about tackling fishing tackle litter under and around the local piers. Workshop participants and Frankston Beach Patrol will be collaborating with Council and Fish Care Victoria to organise a clean-up event and workshop that includes education about which fishing gear to use for the local conditions to prevent unnecessary loss. Council will be installing Seal the Loop bins to help anglers dispose of fishing line properly.

Apart from the new projects above, seven catch-up workshops were organised. These workshops were a follow up of the source reduction plan workshops from the year before and were held to give old and new participants an update on the changes in the world of litter and marine debris on international, federal, state and local levels. Project community members presented the results of their source reduction plan projects and celebrated their projects’ successes and learnings.

One of the most valuable outcomes of a source reduction plan workshop is the ability to get everyone with a passion for litter reduction in the same room. All workshops have succeeded in helping people develop new collaborations with others in their local area, from individuals to councils, community organisations and government agencies. Collaboration is the key to effective change for the environment, and we are looking forward to seeing the projects develop and thrive in the future.