Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism
Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism
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Earth Day @ Chamber Connect

With the clock ticking on recently passed legislation to ban single-use plastic and polystyrene products in Queensland from September 1, 2021, the Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Tourism is turning its April Chamber Connect Coffee Morning into an Earth Day celebration to prepare the business community for impending changes.

Polystyrene foam food containers and cups as well as single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery and plates will all be included under the ban however Chamber says there are a number of alternatives available and various initiatives that businesses can adopt ahead of time if the community willingly embraces environmentally responsible practices.

Chamber President Rachael Coco said there was no reason for the new legislation to detrimentally impact business or consumers and that Hinchinbrook Shire businesses could instead choose to “set the benchmark for environmentally responsible, sustainable business practices and define themselves in the marketplace”.

“This Friday’s Chamber Connect Coffee Morning will feature guest speaker, Louise Lannen from MAMS Group, to address common sense, eco-friendly changes that businesses can implement to improve their operations, as well as a display from SpicnSpan to showcase the various alternatives that are available in place of plastic and polystyrene products” said Ms Coco.

“We’ll also be sharing information about an initiative launched by Plastic Free Hinchinbrook which will detail local eateries that support the use of reusable items and use non-plastic items for takeaways and encourage businesses to achieve ‘Plastic Free Legend’ status by removing all single use plastic items from their business” she said.

“We live in a beautiful part of the world and our natural attractions are revered, so it makes sense for local businesses to be ahead of the game and operate at a higher standard – working towards becoming an eco-conscious shire – especially when legislation is constantly evolving and we anticipate further reforms and bans in the future.”

Ms Coco said that were already a range of alternatives available to single-use plastic straws, such as single-use paper or bamboo straws, compostable plastic straws and even edible and reusable straws made from bamboo, stainless steel, glass and silicone.

“Every product to be banned in September has a viable substitute – plastic cutlery can be exchanged for stainless steel, reusable plastic or bamboo cutlery, plastic bowls and plates can be replaced by products made from paper, reusable plastic, metal or crockery, plastic drink stirrers  can be switched to wooden paddle pop sticks, stainless steel teaspoons or glass swizzle sticks and expanded polystyrene takeaway food containers and cups can be traded for products made out of paper or cardboard or compostable plastic” she said.

“We know that other items are already on the state government’s radar, including oxo-degradable (fragmentable) plastic items, coffee cups and lids and other plastic cups, plastic dome lids, expanded polystyrene loose packaging and plastic balloon sticks, so why shouldn’t we be proactive and be prepared and advertise the fact that the Hinchinbrook Shire really is the natural place to be?”

Friday’s Chamber Connect Coffee Morning in honour of Earth Day will take place at TYTO Precinct from 7:30am to 9am, with a light breakfast provided and a Lucky Door Prize up for grabs thanks to North Queensland Insurance Brokers.

The event is free with no RSVP’s required and guests can come and leave at their leisure – attendees are simply asked to BYO coffee from the favourite barista and enjoy the social networking and valuable information on offer.

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Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism