Zero plastics by mid-2020 Bayside City Council premises
Single use plastics will no longer be issued from Council’s Corporate Centre and libraries by 30 June 2019. Other Council-owned properties such as community centres and senior citizen centres will stop using single use plastics by 30 June 2020 as Council commits to a future of zero single-use plastics.
This great initiative was proposed by Elizabeth Jensen president of Marine Care Ricketts Point who said,
“Beach Patrols spend countless hours cleaning rubbish from our beaches. By far the single biggest waste item we collect is plastics. Over 95% of rubbish on our beaches comes from the rivers and stormwater drains of Port Phillip Bay. This decision will help save our marine life and keep our beaches safe. Micro-plastics are known to be harmful to marine life. Once plastics enter the waters, they contaminate and accumulate in marine wildlife through ingestion. There is evidence that plastic particles and associated chemicals have already entered the human food chain such as in mussels. When ingested, they may harm human health”.
Dr Vicki Karalis, AM, President, Sandringham Foreshore Association said “Council should be applauded for their leadership in banning single-use plastics associated with Council premises. This will help reduce the amount of plastics we find on beaches. It is a matter of time that other municipalities and neighbouring communities will also follow this great initiative.”
“Council’s unanimous decision last Tuesday night to eliminate single-use plastics from Council premises and leases shows great leadership. There was widespread support from many leading community groups, including Marine Care Ricketts Point, Beaumaris Conservation Society, Sandringham Foreshore Association, Beach Patrol Australia and Bayside Climate Change Action Group. Cr Laurie Evans noted the vote was ‘Driven by the Community’.
Council’s focus on educating the community about the issue of single-use plastics and its intention to engage with schools and the broader community is a very positive way to move forward. Many community groups have committed to working with Council to help achieve an outstanding result. We look forward to many other Councils throughout Melbourne following this lead.” (Greg Mier, President, Beaumaris Conservation Society.)
Bayside City Council to Ban Single Use Plastics
Marine Care Ricketts Point proposal had terrific success at Bayside Council on Tuesday night, 19 March when Councillors showed great leadership, and voted unanimously to ban single-use plastics (eg straws, cups, spoons, other plastic cutlery and crockery) in Bayside Council-controlled premises.
In a seldom-seen action, all Councillors spoke about how moved they’d been by our stories and data, and how concerned they are to protect future generations.
It was a fantastic night!
This will greatly benefit the health of Ricketts Point Sanctuary and Port Phillip Bay.
We particularly thank Cr Laurie Evans for taking up our cause with other Councillors. As he said, this is community power in action.
Hopefully this movement will snowball to all other Melbourne Councils, especially if local community groups take up the cause in their own area.
Many thanks, also, to those members of MCRP who spoke or turned up to the meeting in support.
There was great community support. Fifteen individuals or organisations wrote to Cr Laurie Evans in favour of the proposal, and 15 people, including those representing major organisations such as Sandringham Foreshore Association, Beaumaris Conservation Society, BCCAG, Bayside U3A, and Beach Patrol Australia (including Love Our Streets) spoke at the meeting.
If you want to do more to promote this movement, you can:
- (Respectfully) Take your own mug to coffee shops;
- (Respectfully) Don’t accept straws, plastic spoons etc for take-away;
- If you live outside of Bayside, ask your local Council to follow Bayside’s lead.
Details of the Decision:
Councillors voted unanimously to
- eliminate single-use plastics in the Corporate Centre and Libraries by July 2019; and
- in other Council premises, including community centres, by July 2020;
- enhance guidelines for commercial leases to reduce use of plastics at Council’s commercial leases (eg The Teahouse, Beaumaris, the Baths and North Point, Brighton); and
- Report back to Council by June 2019 on the merits of the Hobart Council ban;
- encourage other Melbourne Councils to follow Bayside’s lead.
Full details of the resolution are at https://www.bayside.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/council/19_march_2019_ordinary_meeting_of_council_minutes.pdf (p16)
Two important articles were published in the Guardian Newspaper with researchers showing evidence of the extent of plastic pollution.