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Sydney pledges to limit single-use plastics

A growing number of Sydney markets, events, outdoor spaces, hotels, and entertainment venues will see fewer single-use plastic items, under a new initiative put forward by the City of Sydney.

Industry leaders across the property, hospitality, accommodation, and events industries have pledged to limit their usage of such plastics under the Sydney Single-use Pledge.

Under the pledge, businesses commit to taking at least four actions to reduce their reliance on single-use plastic items.

“Acting together, we can reduce our impact on the environment and show the world that Sydney businesses are leading the way to a zero waste future,” Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“While recycling plays an important role in managing our waste, we need to refocus on reduction and avoidance. The City has set bold targets to reach zero waste by 2030 [and] we must reduce the amount of waste we produce, recycle as much as possible and treat what’s left over in the most sustainable way.”

Moore congratulated the more than 30 organisations that have already taken the pledge, urging others to get on board.

Property group GPT is one such business, with head of sustainability and energy Steve Ford stating organisations have a big part to play.

“GPT recognises that waste is being generated at unsustainable rates. We’ve adopted a ‘closed loop’ objective to manage materials that tenants dispose of,” Lord said.

“But, we recognise that wherever possible, it’s better to eliminate unnecessary single-use items. The single-use pledge is a call to action for all organisations to acknowledge they have a major role to play in tackling the problem of single-use plastic items.”

According to Moore, less than half of the 1 million plastic bottles purchased globally every minute are recycled, while plastic straws can last in the environment for up to 600 years.

The City itself has taken a more robust pledge, committing to taking seven actions, rather than four, to phase out plastic-items at its own venues and events. Under this pledge, the City will eliminate, or reduce, it’s reliance on bottled water, plastic straws, plastic serve ware, plastic utensils, promotional flyers, plastic samples, and single-use cups.

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