The Yarra City Council begun removing single-use plastic bottles from its leisure facilities on January 1 as part of an action plan to eliminate single-use plastic items.
Phase 1 of the council’s commitment to removing single-use plastic bottles was implemented across its leisure centres and golf course.
Leisure centre staff have been working with suppliers to source plastic-free product alternatives and scope out new suppliers that can offer more sustainable product alternatives.
From early January 2020, Yarra City Council’s leisure centres began supplying:
- Water in reusable and recyclable aluminium cans;
- soft drinks in aluminium cans;
- Musashi P30 milk until an alternative supplier can be sourced in Australia;
- Coconut water until an alternative supplier can be sourced in Australia;
- Gatorade until an alternative option can be sourced in Australia, with a canned option expected to be available in Australia by mid-2020; and
- coffee in single-use and reusable cups at Burnley Golf Course.
These centres no longer supply water and soft drink in plastic bottles or Emma & Toms milk and juice.
The council also encourages visitors to bring their own reusable drink bottles to facilities and fill up at water fountains – of which there are about half a dozen at each leisure centre and one at the golf course.
The move to eliminate single-use plastic items came after the Yarra City Council unanimously voted in July 2019 to eliminate single use plastic across facilities – starting with plastic water bottles and straws.
Former Yarra Mayor, Danae Bosler said that going plastic-free is an important step in the council’s long-term ambition to become a zero waste city.
“Single-use plastics have a terrible impact on our environment, particularly our waterways, and our community expects us to take real action on this issue,” Bosler said.
By removing plastic bottles from our Yarra Leisure facilities, the council expects to eliminate the consumption of about 17,000 plastic bottles each year. This figure is based on its annual plastic bottle consumption across its facilities during 2018/19.