Campaspe’s on anti-plastic path
CAMPASPE Shire is estimated to consume and dispose of an average of six tonnes of plastic every day.
Echuca-Moama’s share of that environmental time bomb is approximately three tonnes per day.
And the council is saying no to plastic and encouraging all residents to get on board.
Campaspe Shire regulatory and community services general manager Paul McKenzie said council is urging people to adopt the waste principles of refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and dispose.
‘‘By refusing in the first place the waste is avoided and this includes things such as saying no to plastic bags, avoiding food waste by only buying what you will eat, avoiding disposable items and excess packaging,’’ he said.
‘‘In doing so, we reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. Landfill is the end of the line for waste and is both economically unviable and detrimental to the environment.’’
It is estimated within Campaspe Shire we go through almost 4000 disposable coffee cups every day (2000 for Echuca-Moama) and more than 17,000 plastic bags every day (over 8000 for Echuca-Moama). Council has a range of initiatives it is implementing to support a plastic-free municipality:
WICKED (Waste In Campaspe Know, Educate, Do) program actively promotes a reduction in single-use plastic waste by encouraging people to refuse it in the first place. WICKED is also developing a program to minimise plastic bag use in the shire.
The recently adopted Waste Wise Events Guide seeks to achieve an elimination of single-use plastic items from events held on council owned or managed land. Specific waste items include: plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic cups, plastic water bottles, lids on take-away coffee cups, plastic plates and bowls, plastic cutlery and balloons.
Provides support to local groups including Plastic Bag Free Echuca-Moama and Boomerang Bags.
Weekly social media engagement via councils Waste Not Wednesday #wastenotwednesday facebook posts which presents did you know facts about waste and sustainability as well as educational resources to encourage positive behaviour change.
Besides the plastics that are accepted in the kerbside recycle collection, council also provides soft plastic recycling at the Echuca and Mt Scobie transfer stations. Council also runs a soft plastic recycling collection program at the Echuca offices, which is a partnership with local Moama manufacturer Newtecpoly, who are recycling the soft plastic into garden beds and box seats.
Last year council ran a campaign for Plastic Free July, an annual initiative which aims to raise awareness of the problems with single-use disposable plastic and challenges people to do something about it by choosing to refuse single-use plastic for the month of July. Another Plastic Free July campaign or event will be held this year. To register for the challenge visit plasticfreejuly.org.
Working with the Rochester community to establish a pilot for a plastic bag free town within the shire.
Currently undergoing a kerbside recycle bin audit across the shire to establish the contents and contamination levels of the yellow recycle bin.
Although Mr McKenzie said council was proud of its waste wise initiatives he said ‘‘there is much more that both council and the community can do to reduce the use of plastic’’.
‘‘Council fully supports Victorian ban on single-use plastic bags and made a submission into the public survey to encourage the introduction of this legislation.’’