Page 4563 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 31 October 2018

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(3) calls on the ACT Government to:

(a) deliver the first ACT Government run plastic free event before the end of the parliamentary term;

(b) continue to find meaningful and significant ways to reduce single-use plastic usage in the ACT; and

(c) work with other jurisdictions to phase out problematic and unnecessary plastics.

I bring this motion to the Assembly today as I believe that the ACT government needs to continue to lead the way in plastic reduction. I believe that this may only be done when we are continually identifying areas of improvement and taking action. One such area that has recently been identified is the significant amount of single-use plastic that gets used at events.

We all may recall images of the aftermath of music festivals and other large-scale events across the country. These images are often of wide open fields, once covered with healthy grass, covered in litter and plastic waste. The unfathomable amounts of rubbish left behind include everything from water bottles and cups to entire discarded tents. What is particularly disheartening is the lack of concern these images have warranted in the past.

However, this issue is no longer being ignored by those hosting such events. Globally, we have started to see events, and especially festivals, take on the responsibility for the waste they create. Whether it is plastic water bottles, disposable cups or serve ware, events are ditching the waste and going plastic free. As host to so many great community events such as Floriade and the Multicultural Festival, I believe the ACT government has the opportunity now to be adding to these admirable examples.

I would like to take this opportunity to draw attention to some such examples and highlight how so many others have managed to reduce, if not eliminate, their own plastic waste. This year the Association of Independent Festivals, which represents more than 60 independent British festivals, pledged to go plastic free by 2021. Their drastic on plastic initiative will see plastic drink bottles, plastic straws, glitter, plastic food trays, cable ties and toiletry bottles removed from festival sites. The Association of Independent Festivals is one of the largest organisations to make the commitment but they are far from the only one.

In Australia there have been a growing number of events aiming to reduce and avoid plastic waste. Wollongong’s festival Yours and Owls went 100 per cent plastic free for the first time this year. The event saw plastic water bottles, straws and single-use cups excluded from the site and cutlery and takeaway food containers replaced with reusable or compostable materials.

Festival director Ballun Jones showed his commitment to the cause. He said:

… seeing rubbish in and about the coastline is a reminder that unless we are conscious of what we do with our waste, our waterways and ocean life will deteriorate … We are lucky enough to have a festival right next to the beach and

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