Straws and other single-use plastics will be removed from Cairns Regional Council operations after a series of resolutions today.
The council hopes to lead by example in a mission to protect the Great Barrier Reef by taking steps to remove single-use plastics from council events and venues.
“Cairns is the principal gateway to one of the world’s most iconic natural assets: The Great Barrier Reef,” Mayor Bob Manning said.
“In 2018, we continue to see plastics impacting our land and sea environment, including our unique wildlife and corals. As a Reef Guardian Council this deeply concerns us.”
The move comes on the back of a campaign by 10-year-old Cairns girl Molly Steer, who recently received the 2018 Cairns Young Woman of the Year award.
“Molly has gained great traction with her ‘Straw No More’ campaign,” Cr Manning said. “She has brought this very serious issue to our attention through the eyes of a young resident who sees herself as a future custodian of our environment.”
Cr Manning commended both Molly – who addressed today’s Planning and Environment Committee meeting – and Nicole Nash from The Last Straw on the Great Barrier Reef for the excellent results already achieved via their campaigns.
“The results of their work speak for themselves, with 88 tuck shops and 70 businesses along the GBR catchment removing plastic straws,” he said.
As well as taking steps to remove plastic straws and other single-use plastics from council operations, the council will encourage others to follow suit.
“We’ll be writing to our lessees, market stallholders and event partners to encourage them to reduce their use of single-use plastics and we’ll be looking at how we can assist this,” Cr Manning said.
“Ultimately, we want to significantly reduce the amount of single-use plastics that are ending up in landfill or – worse still – in our waterways.”