Noosa has been chosen as the first pilot area in Queensland to trial a community push to reduce single-use disposable and problematic plastic items (see below*). The plan will be a whole of community effort to demonstrate how to avoid and reduce the use of these problem plastics.
The plan will be presented to the public at the:
Noosa Festival of Water, Noosa Botanic Gardens, Cooroy on Sunday 25 June at 11.35am
A range of community organisations have already joined a Noosa Plastic-Free Alliance and will be coordinating the plan. These include: Noosa Community Biosphere Association, Boomerang Bags, Surfrider Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast Environment Council, University of Sunshine Coast, ZEN Waste, Coastcare, Sunshine Coast Environment Educators’ Alliance. We hope many more will join.
About the Plastic Free Noosa Plan
‘95% of all plastic packaging is used once and then thrown away as waste or landfill,’ said Toby Hutcheon of the Boomerang Alliance (and on behalf of the organisations involved).
‘As a community we urgently need to reduce our plastic footprint or face a future where there is more plastic in the ocean than fish.’
The State Government has announced plans for a plastic bag ban and cash for containers scheme to start in Queensland in 2018.
‘These measures are a great start and will reduce litter significantly. The question now, is how to reduce our use of other problem plastic items regularly found in litter?’
The Noosa Plastic Free project will focus on six disposable plastics items -*plastic bags and bottles, coffee cups/lids, takeaway containers, straws and plastic food ware. All shops, food outlets, markets, schools, events (and Noosa citizens) will be encouraged to go plastic free by providing reusable food ware and utensils and avoiding single use plastic takeaway items.
‘The aim is to encourage all businesses, festival and event organisers, schools and food outlets to change their behaviour and stop using single use and disposable plastics. We are providing a how-to guide to help them.
‘Business groups, Noosa Council and Tourism Noosa have shown interest and we hope they will formally join the alliance, and make it a genuine whole of community effort to reduce plastics.’
‘We want to show every community in Queensland that by working together we can reduce our plastic footprint and change our behaviour.’
We encourage everyone to look at what we are planning and start their own community plans.’
The project will start in July to coincide with Plastic Free July and get into full swing by September.’
‘We are definitely saying NO to polystyrene cups, lids and containers which leach toxic styrene when exposed to hot food or liquid and also cause great damage to marine life. We hope that these products will simply disappear from Noosa never to return, as a result of this project.’
Lessons from two pilot projects in Noosa and Wollongong will also support the development of a detailed toolkit for communities, business, schools, festivals and councils, to be released later in the year.’