No balloons at council events
Balloons will no longer be sold or given out at public events held on council property and public open space after Central Coast Council due to a new Single Use Plastic Policy adopted at its August 26 meeting.
The policy sets out council's intention to help eliminate single use plastics, advocating for legislative change and educating the community on environmentally responsible alternatives.
This will include minimising waste and using reusable or biodegradable wrapping, food containers, cups and cutlery at public events.
The policy, written by waste services team leader Mr James Lawson, states that council will support and assist organisations or individuals organising an event to comply with this policy.
The report to council about the policy said that various state governments were in the process of reviewing their strategies to introduce legislation about the sale and use of single use plastics.
It noted that recent road renewal works at Wards Hill Rd, Empire Bay, had used Reconophalt, which used about 631,000 plastic bag equivalents in a 600 metre section of asphalt road.
Earlier in the evening, Empire Bay resident Mr Gregory Olsen spoke at the public forum in favour of the policy.
"This policy takes leadership in reducing littering, reducing waste to landfill and strengthening positive environmental behaviours,'' Mr Olsen said.
"I note that council has also recently adopted an Interim Sustainable Event Management Policy and implemented a Procurement Policy and associated procedural guide.
"These are consistent with the Single Use Plastic Policy.
"In partnership with community groups, such as the Boomerang Alliance and Take 3 For the Sea, that are already working to reduce the plastic waste that ends up in our waterways and oceans, Council is in a position to become a leader in dealing with the dangerous plastic legacy.
"Also, Council will be able to actively encourage enterprising, new, local businesses who see the opportunities in recycling this resource rather than treating it as useless waste.
"We know plastic Is harming marine life but it also has a disastrous affect on human health.
"Plastic is in absolutely everything to the point where we're now living in the Age of Plastic.
"Calculations suggest 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic have been created in the last 60 years, all of which still exists in the environment today.
"More than 70 per cent is in landfill and polluting the ocean.
"It's impacting wildlife populations, infiltrating the food we eat and the water we drink.
"According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, humans consume up to 11,000 tiny pieces of micro-plastic, every year.
"This is the equivalent to ingesting an average of five grams of plastic - the weight of a credit card - every week.
"These plastics contain hazardous chemicals with which we're coming into contact in our everyday life through the products we have in our homes.''
He said everyone could play a part in the shift away from single use plastics in some simple ways such as storing food in glass containers, switch plastic water bottles for a stainless steel one, take home fruit and vegetables in paper bags and refuse plastic wrapped fresh food.
Central Coast Council agenda 4.4, 26 Aug, 2019