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Single-use items to be phased out of City of Sydney venues and events

The City of Sydney has committed to phasing out seven single-use items in its buildings, at its own venues and at events within the city as part of a pledge supported by more than 30 business so far.

The council will eliminate or reduce the use of bottled water, plastic straws, plastic serve ware, expanded polystyrene, plastic utensils, promotional flyers, plastic single-use giveaways and sampling products, and single-use cups.

It is part of a commitment made in support of the council’s Sydney Single-use Pledge, which has seen more than 30 organisations sign up so far.

Announced in late May, the Sydney Single-use Pledge has gained support from the Sydney Opera House, Fox Studios, Allianz, YHA and Star Entertainment Group.

As part of the pledge, companies are committing to using fewer plastic bottles, straws, throwaway cups and food utensils as the number of these items keeps growing in Sydney hotels, entertainment venues, markets, festivals, major events and outdoor spaces, the council indicated.

YHA CEO, Julian Ledger, said the plastics pledge aligns with the organisation’s values and guests’ expectations.

“YHA Australia is striving towards sustainability, including a ban on the sale of bottled water at major youth hostels.

“By providing chilled water fountains and re-usable bottles, around 40,000 fewer single-use water bottles will be sold each year. Travellers will be educated about how drinking tap water in Australia is safe,” Ledger said.

Information from the City of Sydney indicated that if Sydney residents and business owners do not change how waste is manager, by 2030 there will be more than 200,000 tonnes of waste to landfill a year, which landfills close to Sydney may be unable to take. With such a large volume of waste, the council predicts that some waste will have to be send more than 250km away.

Allianz senior manager for social impact, Charis Martin-Ross, said plastic waste is an issue that requires a united response.

“That’s why Allianz is proud to sign this pledge and join the City of Sydney and the broader Sydney community in tackling this serious issue.”

Under the new environmental pledge, businesses commit to implementing at least four actions that reduce reliance on single-use plastic items.