Ban on balloons and single-use plastic bags and straws by Georges River Council

Deflating news: Balloons will be banned at future Georges River Council events, such as this year's Australia Day celebrations at Carss Park. Picture: John Veage
Deflating news: Balloons will be banned at future Georges River Council events, such as this year's Australia Day celebrations at Carss Park. Picture: John Veage

Balloons and single-use plastic straws and bags have been banned at venues owned by Georges River Council and at future council-run functions and events.

The ban is effective immediately.

Plastic straws have been removed from the Marana Auditorium and the Councillor’s Suite and replaced with paper straws.

And balloons will no longer be handed out at council-run events such as Australia Day or Lunar New Year.

The council will require stallholders and sponsors to agree to new terms and conditions which prevent single-use plastics including balloons being used or distributed at future council events.

It is unclear whether the immediate ban will affect operators who have signed long-term leases on council properties.

The ban should not affect private functions being held on council premises.

The move follows a call by Councillor Con Hindi at the July 23 council meeting which aimed to address ocean and river pollution and the threat to marine wildlife.

Councillor Hindi hopes the ban on single use plastics will be also be followed by other organisations and businesses in the the Georges River local government area.

“This is an issue that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency,” Cr Hindi said.

“Council encourages local business and other organisations to implement a similar ban.

“Scientists have predicted that there will be more tonnes of plastic than tonnes of fish in the sea by 2050.

“Council is saying no to plastic straws, and further, no single use plastic carry bags will be issued at our facilities.

“Importantly, future Council events will require stallholders and sponsors to agree to new terms and conditions which prevent single-use plastics being used or distributed, and this extends to the use of balloons.

“Council is leading by example, and will strive to continue to reduce its environmental footprint,” Cr Hindi said.

The move follows on from the success of Georges River Council’s Plastic-free July campaign, held in conjunction with Georges Riverkeeper.

Plastic-free July saw residents, council staff and families attending reusable bag-making workshops and learning how to make their own beeswax wraps, along with collecting the single-use plastics they could not avoid throughout the month of July.

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