Council to swap out single-use plastics
  • Friday 25 January 2019

New opportunities to avoid, phase out or reduce single-use plastics at council-run events and in the organisation’s operations will be considered by Sunshine Coast Council at its January Ordinary Meeting (Thursday January 30).

Significant steps have already been taken to remove and/or minimise the use of single use plastics at council’s facilities and council-run events and councillors will discuss further opportunities to raise the bar.

Replacing plastic items with alternative products and developing standardised conditions to include vendor and events permits to phase out single use plastics are just two of the opportunities to be considered.

For many years now, Sunshine Coast Council has been proactively working with the community to address the impacts of plastic on our natural environment, which is closely aligned to council’s vision as Australia’s most sustainable region – healthy, smart, creative.

A review of single-use plastic usage at 10 council-managed facilities and five council-run events demonstrated that council has already implemented a range of initiatives and programs to reduce its plastic waste.

Maroochydore Multi-Sports Complex has completely removed plastic straws from its canteen. The complex is also phasing-out other single-use plastics, such as bottles and plastic lolly bags.

Caloundra Indoor Stadium has installed a water refill station to encourage the use of reusable water bottles, as well as providing discounts for customers who bring a reusable coffee cup.

Caloundra Music Festival continued to reduce the use of plastic bottles and cups by encouraging patrons to bring their own reusable items.

The festival also sells reusable merchandise to make it easier for patrons to adopt sustainable behaviours.

Regular beach clean-up initiatives, sustainability-focussed awareness campaigns – including the #BYOSunshineCoast partnership – and banning helium balloons at council events and banning their intentional release across the region are other examples.

Through the Environment and Liveability Strategy, council has made a commitment to reduce waste generation and support the community to adopt sustainable living practices.

The ongoing success of the solar farm, which is offsetting more than 100% of council’s total electricity consumption and has generated more than 30GW hours of renewable energy since it opened, is another example of council’s commitment to sustainability in our region.