One of Geelong Sustainability’s strategic priorities is Circular Economy, which aims to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns eliminate waste and to keep resources in a continually flowing loop. We are passionate about this, and have championed many circular economy-focused projects and initiatives, such as the Circular Living Challenge, the War on Waste project, and advocacy campaigns.
So when the Victorian government made its announcement that from February 2023 a number of single-use items will be banned in Victoria, we were thrilled. The items being banned include plastic straws, cutlery and plates. It’s not all single-use plastic, but it’s a good start, and we hope that it will pave the way for further changes down the road.
Since the announcement, we have been engaged by Sustainability Victoria to speak with businesses across the whole Barwon South West region to ensure they’re aware of, and ready for, the ban.
Our newest staff member, Business Engagement Coordinator Jess Hobbs, has been out and about visiting hospitality businesses to discuss how they manage their plastic use, and what the alternatives are. Jess has already visited over 750 businesses across the region and found many great examples like Ocean Grind Torquay (pictured), who banned all single use plastic – including takeaway cups – back in 2019.
Jess is incredibly passionate about the circular economy movement, and has gone above and beyond in identifying “champion” businesses who are truly leading the way towards a zero-waste approach to hospitality.
Along with discussing the banned items we are encouraging businesses to promote the reuse message by putting up posters for the latest Sustainability Victoria campaign – “Small acts make a big impact.” Hopefully you will start to see these posters up in local cafes and restaurants as we spread the message that “We welcome reusables.”