Industry News, News, Victoria

Plastic-free program engages Yarra community with online map

Dozens of businesses in Yarra city have gone plastic free with community able to support them by finding plastic-free participants through an online Zero Waste Map.

The map, hosted on the City of Yarra’s website, is an online directory that profiles business and community initiatives that promote waste reduction through their products, services or business.

The launch of the online map is part of promoting the Proudly Plastic Free program, which was piloted in North Fitzroy Village.

The program targets takeaway containers, straws, bags, tableware, single use coffee cups and water bottles. Traders must commit to eliminating at least three target items to be part of the program.

The program currently 20 businesses, whose activities have included removing single use plastic items and adding incentives for BYO cups and containers.
City of Yarra waste minimisation officer Sophie Green said most traders want to do the right thing in terms of minimising plastic but don’t know what reusable alternatives are out there.
“The program was really about distilling complex packaging information and pitching it to traders in a way that shows the benefit to their business and the environment.
“The Yarra community is increasingly pushing council and business to do more to reduce plastic waste and so the campaign received overwhelmingly positive feedback,” Green said.
Similarly, other jurisdictions have introduced plastic free programs, such as one in Noosa that has more than 140 member cafes, restaurants, market and event members.

In 2018, the Boomerang Alliance’s Plastic Free Places program in Noosa eliminated more than 1.6 million single-use plastic items.