DEPUTY mayor Amanda Cohn has succeeded in starting the ball rolling for Albury Council banning the use of single-use plastic.
Her notice of motion tabled at the council meeting on Monday night was unanimously passed despite Cr van de Ven raising concerns about a "waste of time” for council staff in preparing a report when a phasing out by 2023 had already been approved by the federal government.
“There is a community expectation we continue to show leadership on waste,” Cr Cohn said.
“What I am asking for at this stage is not a radical proposal.
“It is a fair and reasonable thing to ask our staff to identify what the current use is and what alternatives there are.”
Cr Cohn cited the example of council already making the switch from plastic to bio-degradable product for guards around trees when they are planted.
“When those tree guards blow away they are not creating plastic litter in the Murray River,” she said.
But, Cr van de Ven said council resources could be better spent than “second guessing” an initiative underway.
“Single use plastic bags drive me nuts,” he said.
“I don’t have an issue with getting rid of them, but I look at the stuff I get in the supermarket every day and 90 per cent of the packaging you get is not recyclable.
“Why don’t we deal with those issues instead of having a report that is going to duplicate what is already being done.
“Everything that can be done in the waste area we are already doing.”
Staff will prepare a report outlining council’s present use of single-use plastic across council operations and available alternatives to single-use plastic items currently used in council operations and council-run or sponsored events.
Randwick Council has already moved to ban single-use plastic from next year and Canterbury Bankstown, Blue Mountains, and Inner West councils are investigating their options to phase out single-use plastics in council operations and council supported events.
Cr David Thurley defended the move.
“How often at events are we using bottled water when we don’t need to?” he said.
“We have a perfectly good water supply.
“It is not just about packaging. It is about single use plastic such as bottled water.
“I don’t believe it will be a huge amount of work for our staff.”
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