ALBURY and Wodonga councils have committed to "progressively reducing" single use plastics by 2023.
Albury Council was the first to officially set the ball rolling by going to public exhibition with a draft policy and action plan in a move expected to be copied by Wodonga at an upcoming meeting.
Deputy mayor Amanda Cohn had hoped the 2023 aspiration could have been sooner, but strongly supported the intent of the policy which includes single use plastics being eliminated from council operations and civic events, implement responsible procurement practices and influence supply chains, and improve consumer awareness on single use plastics.
"If that is the time it takes to get this right and make sure alternatives are available for our community and are well accepted then I am happy to wait until 2023 to be done right," Cr Cohn said.
"It makes sense for us to go the next step and lead on single use plastics.
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"The timing couldn't be better for us to take a really strong stance and demonstrate to our community and higher levels of government that we take seriously at a local level."
Locally, Indigo Shire introduced a plasticwise policy 12 months ago to support the change from single use plastic in council operations and at council-managed events.
Cr Darren Cameron queried whether there had been any costings on the policy's impacts with the council's waste management team leader Andrea Baldwin explaining such a move was premature.
"We expect this will be a rollout program over the coming years," she said.
"It is expected there will be a cost-saving, but it will be over a number of years before we do get a payback on that."
Cr Henk van de Ven said state and federal governments had to play a bigger in preventing the generation of waste at the source.
"All of the issues for us are around trying to deal with waste once it has been used," he said.
"McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, you name them, are just generating containers without any thought to what happens when they're finished.
"We need to be saying to the higher levels of government that we need these people who are generating the waste that if they don't stop doing it they will be taxed the living daylights out of until they do stop."
Corflute signs, disposable coffee cups, plates, cutlery, plastic straws, single use beverage and food containers, food wrapping are among the items presently used by Albury Council which will be subject to phasing out once the policy is formally adopted.
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