Council has reaffirmed its commitment to being a sustainable city after rolling out several new measures to make local events more environmentally friendly.
At last week’s meeting, Council updated its Sustainable Events Policy to encourage the use of public transport, reduce waste and provide ethical food choice options at its events.
“Events are a major part of our calendar and anything we can do to reduce any negative impact on the environment is welcome,” said Mayor George Brticevic.
“Implementing simple changes will make a real difference to an event’s environmental footprint, while also ensuring they remain fun and family-focused,” Cr Brticevic said.
“Our events should remain positive and stimulating and support the health and wellbeing of our community now and into the future. Our events do not have to leave an environmental impact to be remembered,” he said.
Under the new policy, balloons and plastic straws will no longer be distributed or sold at Council events, and staff will adopt environmentally sustainable practices when planning and running events.
Vegan and ethical food options will also be considered where possible as part of Council’s updated sustainable events policy.
Other initiatives include providing attendees with the opportunity to return reusable products at the end of an event, purchasing locally made products implementing measures to reduce energy usage and the providing bicycle parking and public transport options.
Balloons have been recognised as one of the most harmful waste items to wildlife and can travel about 800km when released.
Foil coated balloons are not biodegradable and can remain in the environment forever while common balloons, which are made from latex, can take many years to break down.
A review of the old policy was initiated after community feedback was received about sustainable practices at local events.