Cam­paspe’s on anti-plas­tic path

Campaspe News - - NEWS - By VIVI­ENNE DUCK

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.’’

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