Creating a policy to ban plastics

The motion to create a policy to reduce and ban single-use plastics at Shire of Collie events and within shire buildings was approved at the council meeting last Tuesday night. 

Shire of Collie chief executive officer David Burton said the motion to create a policy was part of the original motion brought forward from Cr Scoffern, but council still needed to do a lot more research before going ahead.

“We need to go and make a policy now,” he said.

“We just have to think through how to apply that in terms of events like the Collie Show.

“There needs to be a lot of thought around it.”

Last month at the ordinary council meeting, councillor Leonie Scoffern put forward a motion to ban all single use plastics within shire buildings and at any events sponsored or held by the shire. 

The motion, which recognised the environmental impact that single use plastics have on the environment and committing to reduce the amount of single use plastics within the shire was voted 10 all, but no policy was implemented.

The ban at events did not pass but was amended to be further researched into how it could be made possible, what alternatives could be used instead and ways to educate the community was passed seven to three. 

Cr Scoffern said at the June 19 meeting that the ban wasn’t going to be implemented as a local law but it would encourage people to do the right thing.

The findings from the investigation were set to be brought back to council at a later date. 

Shire staff members recently attended the Reducing Plastic Seminar ran by WALGA last month in Perth and received information and recommendations for developing a policy. 

They found wax-coated coffee cups and more biodegradable and environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic, however many are still in the process of more testing and development. 

Staff identified four key areas to focus on to incorporate relevant information, with the provision of an online recycling toolkit for events and having internal and event waste audits conducted to provide information about the type of waste being generated. 

They also will look at using RedCycle in instances where single use plastic is the only alternative and for staff to educate people within the workplace and community on how to make better choices when purchasing products for events and calling for stall holders at events to use plastic fee catering products.