UTAS Stadium will become the first sports stadium in Tasmania to make the permanent switch to reusable beer and wine cups if the City of Launceston council passes a new policy phasing out single use plastic on Thursday.
The council will decide at its June 25 meeting the policy's fate which would phase out single use plastic at the stadium, events, markets, sponsored events and other activities on council owned land by 2022.
The intention of the council's policy is to minimise the impact of single use plastics on marine environments, especially the kanamaluka/River Tamar and Cataract Gorge.
If the policy is passed, a clause stating single use plastics are not to be used and are to be substituted with compostable or reusable packaging will be inserted into leases, permits and contracts.
The policy proposes from January 1, 2022 the use of compostable or reusable packaging at:
- All council occupied buildings, all sponsored events on council land
- UTAS Stadium, Launceston Aquatic and Leisure Centre, QVMAG
- Eight council lessees with takeaway food or beverages
- Food vans
In other news:
UTAS Stadium food vendors planned to use compostable packaging in the 2020 AFL season and the policy would mean its public bars would transition to reusable cups by 2022.
"This would require patrons to purchase a reusable cup with their first beer, with the deposit refunded at the end of the game," council's environmental health team leader Michelle Ogulin said.
"In addition to avoiding the use of single use plastics, this would also significantly reduce post-game clean-up costs, which typically costs $5000 per game."
The policy will not apply to halls, community/social clubs, private hall hirings, vending machines, pre-bottled beverages or pre-wrapped confectionery.
The idea of a policy was first proposed by councillor Andrea Dawkins' in March 2019 when she put forward a motion for the council to investigate and implement a policy to phase out single use plastics.
Plastic Free Launceston founder Trish Haeusler said she was thrilled and supported the council's policy but wanted it implemented as soon as possible.
"The sooner the better," she said.
"When council does something like this it highlights it as a serious problem ... and until we start seeing it as a serious problem it's very hard to get the rest of the community to take on the behavioural change.
"It will just become commonplace within time."
Ms Haeusler said she hoped it would have a flow on effect to private businesses.
"From what I've seen a lot of private businesses, particularly small businesses and a pat on the back to them, have made changes.
"I think that's been really noticeable around Launceston in the last couple of years ... and you know they're doing it tough so to be able to stick with it is quite a commitment."
The council will vote on the policy on Thursday at its meeting.
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