Byron Farmers’ Market is giving single-use plastics the flick. Their new official Plastic Policy kicked into gear this month as part of Plastic Free July, but will be ongoing.
‘We wanted to do our bit in the war on waste and plastics,’ said Tom Carey, manager of Byron Farmers’ Market. ‘Already many of our farmers avoid plastic, but we wanted to take it a step farther with a market policy to further reduce our impact on the environment.
‘Not only have we banned all non-compostable single-use plastic bags, cups and utensils but also plastic straws. We already don’t permit plastic water bottles, so we really feel these initiatives will make a positive impact.
‘We have also introduced a new waste system – including landfill, recycling and compost bins – with easily identifiable labels so the right waste goes into the right bin.’
Tom said that the market is aiming to reduce their landfill to almost nothing – with the majority of waste being turned into compost.
He said the local farmers have been really supportive of the initiative and is confident the community will get behind it as well.
‘We have very strong support from our community, who are already passionate about waste and the environment, but we are still encouraging more people to get into the habit of bringing their own bags, cups and containers to the market. If we can all chip in, it will make a difference,’ Tom said.
And for those who forget their bags, the market has set up a bag ‘bank’ where people can borrow and return reusable bags. Tom said people are also welcome to bring in unwanted non-plastic bags from home for the ‘bank’ – ‘deposits’ for the rest of community to use.
Branded canvas bags ($5) and glass Keep Cups ($20) are also available for sale at the manager’s tent.
Byron Farmers’ Market is held every Thursday from 8am till 11am in Butler Street Reserve and every Saturday morning behind the pub in Bangalow.