We are very stoked to announce that Wollongong City Council are kicking off the new year with a sustainable bang, as both New Year’s Eve and Australia Day celebrations become single-use plastic free!
Acorn Lawyer’s New Year’s Eve event is one of the largest events in the Gong, with over 20,000 people expected to attend Belmore Basin for fireworks, performances, rides and food stalls on the night. That’s a whole lot of potential waste! However, Wollongong City Council are ensuring that the event is made as sustainable as possible. This includes not only avoiding plastic waste, but increasing waste recovery services as well.
“Our summer events are taking the first step towards getting rid of single-use plastic,”
Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.
For both New Year’s Eve and Australia Day events, stall holders have been asked by the council to find environmentally friendly alternatives to single-use plastic items, such as plastic bags, straws, cutlery and food ware. Council have also asked that balloons and all kinds of polystyrene be completely avoided. These changes are being embraced by stallholders, who have shown overwhelming support for the council’s new initiative.
Lord Mayor Bradbery also encourages attendees to embrace the sustainable nature of the celebrations, by avoiding bringing single-use plastic to the events.
“Attendees can also do their part by bringing along a reusable water bottle, coffee cup and
reusable bags as well as making sure they put their rubbish in the right bin. It’s only a small change, but if everyone takes part, it will make a big difference.
Water stations will be available for patrons to refill their own drink bottles. There will also be a three bin system used around the event site, including red bins for general waste, yellow for recyclables and green for organics.
Green Connect, a locally based social enterprise which facilitates waste collection for large-scale events, will be on-site to ensure that the bin system is used correctly and to help prevent as much waste as possible from being sent to landfill.
“This change reflects the ideals of our local community to look after our local environment and to help combat the ever growing volume of plastic debris along our coastline,” said Cr Bradbury.
We have been working with Wollongong City Council over the past year to help develop this policy and we’re incredibly excited that council has taken these important initial steps to help our city become plastic-free! Demonstrating the values of our city through sustainable events over summer is a great way to set the precedent for incoming visitors that Wollongong is a plastic-free city, for locals and tourists alike. We will be continuing our engagement with Council into 2019 to help refine the policy and look forward to the positive impact this move will have on the local community and environment. We commend Wollongong Council for their progressive stance on single-use plastic and look forward to Wollongong truly becoming a "Plastic Free City"!!