Local businesses embrace plastic free future

first_imgLocal businesses embrace plastic free future More businesses are taking up the challenge to ditch plastic with the help of Plastic Free CQ, a program supported by Rockhampton Regional Council made available free of charge to any food retailer in the Region.Councillor for Waste and Recycling Shane Latcham said it was fantastic to see Café Bliss get on board as the program’s newest member.“I really want to congratulate this café, as well as the other businesses in our region which have shown initiative by signing up for this program,” Cr Latcham said.“With new State Government legislation coming in to effect on 1 September banning a number of items, as well as increasingly waste aware customers who expect more environmental options, these businesses can see that we’ve reached the last straw when it comes to single use plastics.“I’m sure that there are many more business owners out there who have it on their ‘to do’ list to start making changes, but are simply run off their feet by the day to day bustle.“That’s why we’re thrilled to be supporting the Plastic Free CQ program.“The program is free for food retailers, and designed to provide the assistance and guidance needed to help make the transition away from single use plastics as simple as possible.Plastic Free CQ Coordinator Jo Stoyel said the initiative is part of the national Plastic Free Places program run by the Boomerang Alliance, Australia’s peak not-for-profit waste organisation.“Our program is designed to make it easy for local food retailers to become compliant with the single-use plastic ban that’s coming in,” said Ms Stoyel.“Plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates and bowls and expanded polystyrene (foam) cups and containers will all be banned this year.“We work directly with businesses, looking at what they’re using and showing them what alternatives are available to them. We can also help them reduce costs associated with switching and offer free promotion.“This is a tried and true program that we have rolled out in eight communities across Australia. We have helped businesses in these communities eliminate over 8 million pieces of single-use plastic.”Water and Environmental Sustainability Councillor Donna Kirkland said that with so many sustainable alternatives available, reducing single use plastics is becoming easier.“Through our Living Sustainably program, we have been sharing hints and tips to help individuals and households make the switch to more sustainable options,” Cr Kirkland said.“Plastic Free CQ is a fantastic program full of information to help local food businesses, and with the ban coming into effect in just a few months’ time, I would urge those business owners to reach out and make the most of the program.”Tanja Irwin from Café Bliss said the Plastic Free CQ program has been very helpful so far.“We’re all quite conscious of the need to reduce plastic waste, but still there’s a lot to look at,” said Ms Irwin.“It’s also hard to know which alternative products are good quality and actually better for the environment, it’s a lot of research to get through on your own.“This program has made the transition a lot easier – Jo has a lot of great suggestions and she’s really helping us to find the products that will work for us.”Businesses in the Rockhampton Region can join Plastic Free CQ by heading to www.plasticfreecq.org. /Public Release. 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