25 March 2019

Launceston councillors vote to phase out single-use plastics at events and festivals

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March 21, 2019

Launceston councillor Andrea Dawkins’ motion to phase out single-use plastics was supported unanimously by her colleagues at Thursday’s meeting.

Cr Dawkins said she was proud to put the motion before council, but was hopeful it could be superseded by state legislation before its 2022 implementation date.

She said popular events in the North, such as A Festival Called Panama, Party in the Paddock, Harvest and Festivale, had already led efforts to reduce consumption of single use plastics.

Once it takes effect, the council’s ban will also apply to City of Launceston chambers itself.

Cr Karina Stojansek, who seconded the motion, estimated the price difference of using biodegradable packaging to be as low as “four to six cents for a basic coffee cup” and said because all vendors at festivals would have to adhere to the rule, it “effectively levels the playing field”.

She said plastic pollution was a major contributor to climate change and was having a significant impact on oceans.

The City of Launceston’s move comes after the Hobart City Council became the first Australian city to approve a bylaw banning all single-use, petroleum-based plastic containers and utensils.

Hobart’s ban doesn’t take effect until next year but the council’s decision has been described as “selfishness and grandstanding” by the head of the Tasmanian Small Business Council.

Launceston councillor Rob Soward said he had followed Hobart City Council’s decision closely and said Cr Dawkins’ motion, which doesn’t affect private businesses operating on their own premises, as “a very sensible place to start”.

Earlier this month, Cr Dawkins said her motion had been designed to maximise support from her colleagues.

“Where contracts are in place at UTAS Stadium, for example, and at the aquatic centre, I would expect a long lead-in time to enable unsustainable practises to also change,” Cr Dawkins said at Thursday’s meeting.


Originally published on The Mercury

Authored by Christopher Testa