City of Karratha

Karratha Council plan to ban single-use plastics

25 Jan 2019

Plastic bags, disposable drink bottles and straws will be banned from City of Karratha operations and events over the next 12 months under a new single-use plastic reduction strategy.

Council endorsed a proposal to develop a single-use plastics reduction strategy and replace single-use plastics with biodegradable or reusable products on Monday.

The strategy was developed by the City’s Single Use Plastics Working Group (SUP), which formed in September to tackle the use of disposable plastic products within the organisation.

SUP conducted an audit of the five most common single-use plastics – plastic bags, coffee and water cups, water bottles, drinking straws and utensils – across the organisation.

Once implemented, the new strategy will eliminate 71,000 plastic bags, almost 16,000 cups, more than 5000 water bottles and nearly 3000 straws and utensils.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said Council recognises the importance of reducing plastic waste.

“Phasing out single-use plastics is an effective way to reduce our contribution to landfill and minimise the impact of plastic pollution on our wildlife and oceans,” Cr Long said.

“While this won’t happen overnight, we have taken the next step to become ‘single-use plastic free’ environmentally responsible organisation. We will also investigate the feasibility of our popular Red Earth Arts Festival becoming single-use plastics free.”

“While commercial businesses operating within Council facilities are not obliged to replace single-use plastics, we encourage businesses and the community to choose to reuse wherever possible.”

The single-use plastics reduction strategy follows the introduction of biodegradable doggie bags in dog-friendly parks, distributing reusable coffee cups and water bottles to staff and not providing drinking straws or plastic cutlery.

Councillor Pablo Miller, who first suggested the reduction strategy, said that it was important for Council to lead by example.

“In the community, many people often don’t know where to start but it’s those small steps and changes that gradually do add up to something special. I believe Council should be a role model for the community and show other businesses that it is possible to reduce your footprint,” Cr Miller said.