Plas­tic bags to get trashed in Vic Park

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - STREET WATCH -

A PUSH to en­cour­age busi­ness own­ers and cus­tomers to go plas­tic free in Vic­to­ria Park is gath­er­ing mo­men­tum.

Vol­un­teer events and change or­gan­i­sa­tion Vic Park Col­lec­tive is be­hind the Plas­tic Free July ini­tia­tive in the area.

Marc Allen, who heads up the sus­tain­abil­ity sub­com­mit­tee at the Vic Park Col­lec­tive, said the area had one of the long­est cap­puc­cino strips in Perth and more than 400 restau­rants in the area.

“We’d like to en­cour­age cus­tomers to take the ini­tia­tive and bring their own con­tain­ers when col­lect­ing take­away food, to do their bit to help min­imise plas­tic waste,” he said.

“We have had a fan­tas­tic re­sponse to the ini­tia­tive, but by no means have our vol­un­teers asked all 400 restau­rants in Vic­to­ria Park, so please let this be the mo­ti­va­tion to ask the ques­tion your­self next time you or­der take­away.”

Jewel in the Park owner Amar Singh said they had re­cently been giv­ing out brown pa­per bags with take­away meals.

“We also give out re­cy­clable plas­tic bags and cloth bags that you see at su­per­mar­kets,” he said.

Jay’s Masala Junc­tion is among the busi­nesses that have signed up to the Plas­tic Free July chal­lenge.

Owner Jay Clarke said they would be en­cour­ag­ing cus­tomers to bring in their own con­tain­ers.

“We are also look­ing at sell­ing tif­fin con­tain­ers and of­fer­ing cus­tomers 10 per cent off their meals,” he said.

“The costs of buy­ing plas­tic con­tain­ers aren’t huge; you can buy 500 for about $80 but for us it’s about be­ing en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly. We want to spread the mes­sage and I think this is a nice idea.”

Zero-waste ed­u­ca­tor Lind­say Miles, au­thor of the Tread­ing My Own Path blog, lives in the Town of Vic­to­ria Park.

She said her life­style change started in 2012 when she agreed to take part in the Plas­tic Free July chal­lenge.

She said she used to be­lieve that hav­ing a full re­cy­cling bin meant she was be­ing en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble but then felt she needed to do even more.

Ms Miles said she be­lieved that change must come from in­di­vid­u­als, rather than wait­ing for change.

“Busi­nesses, com­pa­nies and govern­ment re­act to what we want,” she said.

“Show­ing them there is a prac­ti­cal al­ter­na­tive helps this.

“We need to be do­ing what we can rather than wait­ing for oth­ers to make changes”.

For a list of par­tic­i­pat­ing busi­nesses in the Vic­to­ria Park Plas­tic Free July chal­lenge, head to www.vic­park­col­lec­­tic-free-july.

Pic­ture: Kat Wray

Vic Park Col­lec­tive mem­ber Marc Allen and Jewel in the Park owner Amar Singh show­ing that BYO is not just for drinks any more.

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