All single-use plastic will be banned from Zoos Victoria sites in an effort to move towards zero public waste going to landfill.
From 1 May, single-use plastic bottled water and soft drinks, along with straws and plastic bags, will no longer be used or sold at Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary.
Zoos Victoria is Victoria’s leading zoo-based conservation organisation – this move is part of a broader effort to influence visitors and other organisations to make positive changes towards a greener, more wildlife-friendly future.
From June this year, the three Zoo properties will also have a new three-bin waste system available to the public – organics, comingled and soft-plastics, such as single-use food wrappers – so no public waste goes to landfill.
Soft plastics will be recycled in Victoria through a circular economy arrangement where Zoos Victoria will buy back products made from the plastics it recycles.
The Andrews Labor Government is banning single-use, lightweight plastic shopping bags in Victoria from November.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said plastic pollution is an urgent environmental problem.
“We’re investing in initiatives that maximise recycling and reduce the amount of material that goes to landfill – it’s fantastic to see Zoos Victoria taking strong leadership to help achieve that goal.”
The move comes as Melbourne’s Queen Vic Market also readies to bans plastic bags and straws from Tuesday, 14 May 2019.
Research conducted by Queen Vic Market in June 2018 found 80 per cent of customers supported a move to ban plastic bags, while 70 per cent supported extending the ban to other single-use plastics such as straws.
In October 2018, all traders were invited to provide their feedback and more than 70 per cent of traders were supportive of going plastic bag and straw free.
“We’re committed to sustainability and continually improving our environmental impact, and “going plastic bag and straw free is a major step in reducing the amount of plastic at the market.
“This change comes ahead of the Victorian Government’s planned legislative ban in 2019 and has overwhelming support from our traders and Market customers – with 80 per cent of customers surveyed in favour of banning single-use plastic bags.”
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