Byron shire businesses sign up for plastic-free future

Mia from Edens Landing in Mullumbimby shows off the store's permanent plastic-free sign. Photo supplied

Mia from Edens Landing in Mullumbimby shows off the store’s permanent plastic-free sign. Photo supplied

Mullum Music Festival is being used as a launchpad to encourage more Byron-based businesses to sign up to the vision of a plastic container-free future.

Single use drink container waste accounts for 33 per cent of the plastic in our ocean, according to the Boomerang Alliance, a group of 45 national, state and local ‘allies’ managed by the Total Environment Centre.

The group organised a frenzy of activities in the region during Plastic Free July to prove that alternatives exist.

Since then actions to reduce the supply of disposable plastic by retailers and other local organisations has continued without fanfare.

For example, last week the STEER Project, which provides free breathalysing at many of our festivals, secured a sponsorship deal with local eco-packaging specialists, Greenpack, who will now supply the group with responsibly made paper straws to replace the plastic straws that are used for testing

So STEER has officially kicked its plastic straw habit, which you may be surprised to learn means saving in excess of 20,000 straws over the next three years.

Jen from Brunswick Heads Health Foods & Cafe with Destination Byron president Peter Wotton. Photo supplied

Jen from Brunswick Heads Health Foods & Cafe with Destination Byron president Peter Wotton. Photo supplied

Jen, who owns Brunswick Heads Health Foods Shop & Cafe has removed disposable water bottles from her fridges and is now swapping out other drinks in plastic as alternatives are found.

Jen is pictured out front of Brunswick the shop with another fan of the Plastic Free efforts of traders in the shire, Destination Byron president Peter Wotton.

Mullum’s IGA is booming after kicking its 150,000 plastic bag a year habit; they’re in the final throes of a storewide upgrade that includes a custom built box store behind the registers so the staff can get and pack a box for you if you forget to BYO bags (they also have paper bag options available).

Around the corner at Edens’ Landing Fruit & Vegetables plans are afoot to stock reusable calico produce bags. The sign that promoted their participation in the Plastic Free July campaign – now minus the ‘July’– remains as a permanent symbol of their continuing commitment.

These stories are only the tip of the iceberg of the ‘plastic pollution solutions’ that are being implemented locally.

Mullum Music Festival is committed to reducing its own drink container waste by partnering with the group Mullum Cares to encourage the venues to provide free water bottle refills and make it widely known where revellers can buy reusable water bottles and where they can be refilled– including the highly anticipated drinking and bottle refill station that was successfully crowdfunded for on the back of the Plastic Free July campaign and due to be installed by council in time for the festival.

Mullum Cares is looking to link up with more businesses working to their reduce single use plastic and those who would like help getting started.

Contact Sasha at [email protected] to get the best practice information, including details about Byron Shire Council’s waste team and the Boomerang Alliance.

3 responses to “Byron shire businesses sign up for plastic-free future”

  1. Chris says:

    Its good to see Mullum IGA being such good local corporate citizens.
    Of course Woolworths, true to form, have done nothing to embrace environmental friendliness or meaningful community engagement. Even more reason NOT to shop there!

  2. Jon says:

    If we can’t get our ‘free’ plastics, we’ll just have to buy them. Silly conceit altogether.

  3. don says:

    Ten years we have been advocating for a plastic free shire.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers and is brought to you by this week's sponsors Vast Furniture & Homewares Ballina and Falls Festival Byron Bay.