Burdekin Shire Council is encouraging residents to throw their support behind the Plastic Free July campaign by saying ‘no’ to single use plastics such as plastic straws and packaging.
Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said every person had a role to play in reducing the impact of plastic waste on the environment.
“Plastic Free July raises awareness of our growing plastic waste problem and supports behaviour change by helping people to avoid single-use plastic,” Cr McLaughlin said.
“Building on the success of the recent It’s Your Reef Fest at Alva Beach Park, Council is pleased to announce that for the month of July we will be introducing plastic free catering and removing plastic straws and cups from functions, events and council meetings.
“It is just one small action that Council can take to raise awareness. The only way change happens is by starting change which is why we are calling on the community to join us in this initiative by taking steps to reduce their plastic usage this July.”
Cr McLaughlin said every individual could contribute to reducing the impact of plastic waste on the environment.
“This includes saying ‘no’ to plastics that become litter, such as plastic straws, takeaway cups and containers,” Cr McLaughlin said.
“The Queensland Government plastic bag ban, which has now commenced, and the upcoming Container Refund Scheme are examples of the strong push from government and the community for an increased awareness and improvement in the area of waste disposal, especially around its effect on our waterways and the Great Barrier Reef.
“Council is also proud of its role as a Reef Guardian Council and encourages activities that support the ongoing health of the Reef.”
Cr McLaughlin said plastic fragments were the most abundant litter items collected from Alva Beach during numerous beach clean-up events over the past five years. “The need to reduce plastic litter items was a key message of our Source Reduction Workshop held in partnership with Tangaroa Blue earlier this year,” Cr McLaughlin said.
“It’s Your Reef Fest was a wonderful example of the community coming together to support this. No plastic straws were there and no plastic cups were there, so there was a real effort by all of the suppliers to reduce the usage of single use plastic. We also had a pledge wall and people who made a pledge received a free water bottle that could be filled at the water station.”
Plastic Free July is a global movement that has mobilised millions of participants across more than 200 countries to take measurable steps to reduce plastic use.
Community groups, businesses, schools, and other organisations can also participate in Plastic Free July. The website: www.plasticfreejuly.org/ has a toolbox of resources and ideas to assist the interested organisation or individual.