The City of Launceston has unanimously adopted a new policy for phasing out single use plastics at events, markets and other activities on Council-managed land, as well as at facilities like UTAS Stadium.
The policy follows the approval last year of a motion from Cr Andrea Dawkins signalling the Council’s intent to phase out single use plastics within Council facilities and at events held on Council-managed land, by the year 2022.
Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the policy adopted at today’s Council meeting would help guide progress towards that goal. “Plastic pollution is an enormous environmental problem, with dire consequences for marine ecosystems,” Mayor van Zetten said.
“But it doesn’t need to be this way because we now have a range of options available to us to replace single-use plastic packaging, whether it’s cups, plates or cutlery.
“Here in Launceston, thanks to our FOGO collection service and our purpose-built Organics Processing Facility at the Launceston Waste Centre, we are uniquely placed to leverage the benefits of single-use plastic alternatives, like compostable packaging.
“Already, events like Festivale, the Launceston Harvest Market and Launceston Night Market have moved to compostable packaging, along with many local eateries and cafes.
“This newer compostable packaging can be disposed of in our FOGO collection service, which breaks it down over time into garden compost, and does not result in the harmful environmental impacts we see with single-use plastics.
“As work begins on rolling out the policy, significant Council facilities like the Princess Theatre and UTAS Stadium will also move away from single-use plastics, either through the introduction of compostable packaging or through re-useable packaging.
“The policy the City of Launceston has adopted will have benefits right here in Launceston, but also in places far away from us where our plastic waste might otherwise end up.”