Sydney businesses take no plastics pledge

More than 30 organisations sign pledge to reduce use of single-use plastic items.

Organisations from Sydney’s hospitality, accommodation, events and property sectors have signed the Sydney Single-use Pledge in an effort to reduce their use of single-use plastic items.

More than 30 organisations have committed to the pledge including the GPT Group, Sydney Opera House, Star Entertainment Group, ICC Sydney and Hilton Sydney.

Under the environmental initiative, businesses commit to implementing at least four actions that will reduce reliance on single-use plastic items.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the uptake shows Sydney businesses are determined to reduce the effect single-use plastics are having on the environment.

“Acting together, we can reduce our impact on the environment and show the world that Sydney businesses are leading the way to a zero waste future,” Moore said.

“Studies show that up to one million plastic drinks bottles are purchased globally every minute, but less than 50 per cent are collected for recycling.”

The commitment means there will be fewer plastic bottles, straws, throwaway cups and food utensils at a growing number of Sydney hotels, entertainment venues, markets, festivals, major events and outdoor spaces.

“While recycling plays an important role in managing our waste, we need to refocus on reduction and avoidance.”

The City of Sydney has set its own target to reach zero waste by 2030.

“We must reduce the amount of waste we produce, recycle as much as possible and treat what’s left over in the most sustainable way,” Moore said.

Businesses from the City of Sydney-led groups Sustainable Destination Partnership, Better Buildings Partnership and CitySwitch have committed to reducing single-use items in their businesses and buildings.

So far 32 organisations have signed the Sydney Single-use Pledge, including commercial cleaning contractor Planet Earth Cleaning Company.

Planet Earth Cleaning Company client services manager Sam Szulman told INCLEAN the company is committed to sustainable best practices.

“We’ve been offering green cleaning services for about 24 years. For us, we are always on the lookout for like-minded companies and having conversations with them on how to reduce their impact on the environment,” Szulman said.

“It is a very simple thing for companies to stop using single-use plastics and start using reusable containers. We’ve been on that pathway for more than 10 years. We don’t have any takeaway containers or coffee cups in our offices; we only use reusable products.

“We hope to encourage our business partners to follow our lead and make a commitment to think about their impact every time they are purchasing products from suppliers to every time they make a choice at a retail outlet.”

Property group GPT has also thrown its support behind the campaign. The company’s head of sustainability and energy, Steve Ford, said organisations have a big part to play.

“GPT recognises that waste is being generated at unsustainable rates. We’ve adopted a ‘closed loop’ objective to manage materials that tenants dispose of,” Ford said.

“But we recognise that wherever possible, it’s better to eliminate unnecessary single-use items.

“The single-use pledge is a call to action for all organisations to acknowledge they have a major role to play in tackling the problem of single-use items.”

The City of Sydney has announced it plans to phase out seven single-use items in its buildings, at its own venues and at events within its local government area. The city will eliminate or reduce the use of the following items:

  • bottled water
  • plastic straws
  • plastic serve ware, including expanded polystyrene
  • plastic utensils
  • promotional flyers
  • plastic single-use sampling or giveaways
  • single-use cups

Sydney businesses at the launch of the Sydney Single-use Pledge include:

  1. TCX | The Cup Exchange
  2. Australian National Maritime Museum
  3. Atlassian
  4. The GPT Group
  5. Northrop Consulting Engineers
  6. University of Sydney Union
  7. The Planet Earth Cleaning Company
  8. Sydney Living Museums
  9. Stylecraft
  10. Designblogic Australia
  11. TSA Management
  12. Department of Planning
  13. IAG
  14. Steensen Varming
  15. Australian Museum
  16. Optiver
  17. Herbert Smith Freehills
  18. ICC Sydney Pty Ltd
  19. Merlin Entertainments
  20. Fox Studios Australia
  21. PARKROYAL Darling Harbour
  22. Sydney Opera House
  23. Amora Hotel Jamison
  24. Accor Hotels
  25. Hilton Sydney
  26. Hyatt Regency
  27. The Star Entertainment Group
  28. The Langham Sydney
  29. Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences
  30. Holiday Inn Old Sydney
  31. Allianz
  32. YHA

The City of Sydney has developed guidelines to reduce waste and single-use plastics:

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