Darwin Council – soft plastics press release

Moving Towards a Plastic Free Future

Monday 1 August 2018
City of Darwin will explore innovative alternatives to single use plastics at Council events and helium balloon releases from Council land and in Council buildings. Viable alternatives coupled with a ban on specific single use plastic items will help the city move towards a plastic free future.

At its 2nd Ordinary Council meeting on Tuesday 31 July, Council endorsed a ban on single use plastic cups, straws, cutlery and food containers from all Council run events and supported a ban on helium balloon releases from Council land.

In addition, Council also banned the use of single use plastic plates, food containers, cups, straws and eating utensils from all market stalls held on Council land, this will come into effect from January 2019.

A plan will be developed to detail the phasing out of single use plastics from all events supported by council, including those on Council land and in Council buildings by the end of the year.

Alderman Robin Knox has been advocating for this change, saying that plastic waste poses a significant threat to the local environment.

“For many years, City of Darwin has been working with the community to address the impacts of plastic pollution on our natural environment.

“In recent times there have been many community-driven initiatives to reduce single use plastic around the region, such as Waste Free NT, the Seabreeze Festival and the Malak Markets.

“Council supports beach clean-ups, awareness campaigns and we continue to strive to reduce the amount of plastic waste in our environment. Most recently, ‘Plastic Free July’ has seen Council undertake several internal initiatives to increase awareness of plastic pollution and the simple changes everyone can make to reduce their plastic use.

“Council staff will work closely with members of the community to assist them with this transition.”

“By introducing a ban on the use of single use plastic items and helium balloon releases allows Council to demonstrate the viability of being single use plastic free and lead by example,” said Alderman Knox.

City of Darwin will make no new purchases of single use plastic items until the current stock levels are depleted and will explore viable alternatives.

The benefits of phasing out single use plastic will reduce the amount of plastics being disposed to landfill or ending up as litter, reduce the impacts on the environment and human health, educate the community to shift away from single use plastic and support retailers already utilising alternatives.

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