MEDIA RELEASE - 9 October 2018
Boomerang Alliance has taken the first step to bring its highly successful Communities Taking Control (CTC) program to WA by joining forces with the Town of Bassendean, as part of an ambitious initiative to create ‘Plastic Free Bassendean’. The program will work alongside Bassendean Council over a 12-month period, engaging the business community to review supply chains and provide much needed support in making the transition away from single-use plastics.
After three pilot programs on the east coast - which have made significant inroads into eliminating 6 key, single-use plastic items from food service and hospitality outlets in Noosa, Byron Bay and Wollongong - Boomerang Alliance received funding from the WA Waste Authority's Community & Industry Grants Program in July, to bring the program to WA.
“Having considered a shortlist of local councils active on the issue of plastic waste, we are excited to confirm a partnership with the Town of Bassendean to create WA’s first Plastic-Free Community,” Kellie Lindsay, CTC Program Manager at Boomerang Alliance, said today. “The CTC model has undergone rigorous testing through our recent pilot programs and we are confident that we can use our knowledge and well-established supplier networks to facilitate a major shift away from single-use plastics in the Bassendean community.”
Unlike many programs, which seek to drive the shift through community action, CTC focuses on achieving wide scale change through a source-reduction approach, to reduce a community’s plastic footprint. To achieve this, the program engages directly with local businesses, events, markets and organisations, to switch from identified single-use plastic items to sustainable alternatives. The key to success has been direct engagement with target audiences, removing the barriers to transition, providing well-researched information on alternative materials and making it a simple process to go plastic free.
“The Town of Bassendean is firmly committed to going plastic free. We have a number of initiatives already underway across the Council area, but the opportunity to partner with Boomerang Alliance to create ‘Plastic-Free Bassendean’ will help us turn our vision into reality,” said Bassendean Mayor, Renee McLennan. “We encourage the residents of Bassendean to get behind this program and support those businesses that are taking steps to reduce plastic pollution and drive positive outcomes for our environment”.
Early evaluations point to the elimination of more than 30,000 single-use plastic items in one community alone, in less than a year. As the initial pilots draw to a close, it is anticipated that final results will demonstrate significantly higher levels of elimination, highlighting the success of the program from the outset.
“We are excited to be bringing CTC to the west coast and hope that this will be the beginning of a state-wide program that will change the plastic pollution landscape in Perth and across Western Australia,” said Jayne Paramor, Deputy Director of Boomerang Alliance. “We look forward to engaging a local coordinator in coming weeks, to get the program into full swing and to seeing the whole of WA take up the challenge to go plastic free.”