Push for Penrith to go plastic-free

Date: Monday 3rd December 2018

TOWN councillors have backed a draft proposal for a plastic-free Penrith.

Town councillor Doug Lawson put forward the plan to begin a voluntary scheme for businesses to remove single use plastics.

He said organisations would be invited to sign up to the scheme and agree to replace items such as plastic straws, cups and packaging with environmentally conscious alternatives. Town events, such as the May Day carnival and the Winter Droving, would be asked to include guidelines on how traders and attractions could comply.

Businesses would receive plastic-free Penrith accreditation and could advertise the fact, and future releases of business directories, apps and town guides could include such information.

Chairman Scott Jackson said it was good for businesses to show they were plastic-free as it could be difficult to shop ethically when a shop’s stance on plastic usage was not known. He also suggested sending a letter to Eden Council asking it to review its recycling policies and encourage the taking of more items for recycling.

David Whipp said he supported the sentiment but questioned how the town council would weave it into its everyday work. He said that with the council’s permission, he could take the matter to Penrith Business Improvement District and look into how it could be implemented.

Melissa Thorley said several town councils elsewhere had already backed a plastic-free drive, and they could be contacted for advice. Councils on the coast saw at first-hand the result of plastic waste.