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Council bids to protect the coast

TWELVE minutes is the average time a person uses a single use plastic bag and that is one of the reasons Bass Coast Shire Council will develop a policy to eradicate plastic bags.
Although used for a short time, plastic bags can cause a lifetime of damage for the marine environment.
A War on Waste forum was held at San Remo Silverwater Resort last Wednesday.
The guest speakers were ABC War on Waste’s Craig Reucassel and Plastic Free Phillip Island and San Remo founder Lauren Barker.
Mr Reucassel said if food waste was a country, it would be the world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitter, following China and USA.

However, he said the community could help protect the environment simply by changing habits – for example, using a drink bottles as opposed to single use plastic bottles.
Ms Barker said the coastline was inundated with plastic debris.
“On the surface, our beaches look quite pristine, but if you dig a little deeper and look under the bushes along the shoreline, you will see our coast is covered in plastic,” she said.
Ms Barker said Phillip Island Nature Parks and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning launched a program called Turn the Tide.
Over 12 months, people would go down to the foreshore and collect debris. Around 46,500 pieces were collected, of which 90 percent was plastic.
Ms Barker said community initiatives are taking place to protect the coast. Plastic Free Phillip Island and San Remo is working with local businesses to eradicate single use plastic bags. The group is connecting the community by promoting these businesses. It is also encouraging the use of Boomerang Bags.
Boomerang Bags are accessible in Phillip Island, Wonthaggi, Inverloch and the Waterline area thanks to Plastic Free Phillip Island and San Remo, and Plastic Bag Free Bass Coast.
From the feedback at the forum – and advice from Plastic Free Phillip Island and San Remo, and Plastic Bag Free Bass Coast – council will put together a policy to work towards a plastic bag free Bass Coast.
This policy will be discussed further at an upcoming council meeting.
The development of this policy follows on from the three bin system launch last year.
“Council is looking to build on the success of the three bin system and the good work done by these local organisations,” council’s manager sustainable environment Deirdre Griepsma said.
“Council has the opportunity to provide leadership in this space and set an example for other shires.”
Ms Griepsma said the three bin system had made an enormous difference.
Initially, 34 percent of organic waste was being diverted from landfill. This has gone up to 77 percent since the implementation of the three bin system.
“The majority of people have embraced the system. We acknowledge there are still some issues, and council dealt with those at the recent meeting,” she said.
Ms Griepsma said the single use plastic bag is Bass Coast’s biggest issue, but the policy will extend to other single use plastics like straws.
“This is a focus in our Natural Environment Strategy. Once the policy is developed, there will be an education campaign to help us reduce our impact on the environment,” she said.

Guest speakers: Plastic Free Phillip Island and San Remo founder Lauren Barker, ABC War on Waste’s Craig Reucassel and Bass Coast Shire Council mayor Cr Pamela Rothfield shared initiatives to save the coast at San Remo Silverwater Resort last Wednesday.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=25735

Posted by on Aug 28 2018. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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