Plastic is an environmental nightmare. Manufacture of plastics produces greenhouse gas. Plastic waste leaches toxins into our waterways. Toxins from plastics can end up in our food chain. Recycling reduces the problem but the best strategy is to not use plastic in the first place.
YCAN is calling on Yarra City Council to initiate a Proudly Plastic Free campaign to encourage food outlets in Yarra to stop supplying disposable plastic items such as bags, bottles, cutlery and packaging.
Sign our petition to the Council now and pledge to preference businesses that display a Proudly Plastic Free Yarra sign.
YCAN will add your name and email to an aggregated Help Make Yarra Proudly Plastic Free petition and present it to the City of Yarra Council in 2018.
Sign our petition now.
Find out more plastic facts.
As the festive season approaches, YCAN members have been turning their minds to sustainable gift giving:
Kerry: Avoid buying wrapping paper. Who Gives a Crap loo paper wrapping is great for gifts. Also colourful magazines, or brown paper bags – especially for kids who just tear the wrapping apart anyway!
Ewan: No wrapping paper required for Oxfam’s Unwrapped gifts. On behalf of your gift recipient, you purchase such things as a goat, a well, a veggie garden to help people lift themselves out of poverty.
Kevin: When buying gifts for children, instead of four gifts make it three and give a donation to a cause they can relate to.
Adeline: If you can’t get around gift giving, gift cards for services, e.g. massages, a dinner, etc. are a good option.
We picked a nice sunny day to have a stall at the Gleadell Street Market.
We were collecting signatures for our Proudly Plastic Free Campaign and we chatted to shoppers about the issues. It also gave us a chance to check out how the market’s Plastic Bag Free status is going.
The answer was “not well”. Many stallholders are now handing out “biodegradable” bags, no doubt believing that these are an environmentally friendly alternative to regular plastic bags. But a Senate Enquiry released last year says that these bags don’t decompose, instead they breakdown into harmful microplastics.
This is something that YCAN will be investigating further.
YCAN at Richmond’s Gleadell Street Market
Great news from our friends at Market Forces. Both CommBank and Medibank Private have announced plans to begin divesting from fossil fuels. YCAN made written submissions to both companies requesting this action. Thank you to our supporters who have also done so. It is great to see active campaigning achieving results!
YCAN members have a message we want to send to the City of Yarra, and on Sunday we did that with what some people think is a load of rubbish.
During the week, we collected our food scraps. Then, outside Richmond Town Hall, we wrote our message in cabbage leaves, pumpkin skin and orange peel. And this is the result. We were pretty proud of our work.
Sending food waste to landfill costs ratepayers a lot of money. Not only that, when it goes to landfill it quickly gets covered and decomposes anaerobically (without oxygen). This process emits methane, a greenhouse gas with 28 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.
There are alternatives. Food scraps can be converted into compost, fertiliser or biogas.
We gave these food scraps to some very appreciative chooks. But not everyone in Yarra has access to chickens, or the space to compost. What we want is a system that gives all Yarra residents an alternative to putting their food scraps in the bin. We reckon that if councils and shires around the country, such as Wodonga, Port Adelaide, Colac Otway and Mitcham SA, can recycle their food waste, then so can Yarra.
Food scraps are not a load of rubbish.
Last week I was highly commended in the Local Hero category of the City of Yarra Sustainability Awards. I am honoured to receive this award, but I want to point out the obvious — I wasn’t alone. The award is shared with all YCAN members, past and present, who have persisted over the years in our efforts to lobby governments at all levels to do the right thing as far as climate change is concerned.
50% of the City of Yarra’s domestic waste going to landfill is organic waste, including a large proportion of food waste.
Why is this important? Decomposition of organic waste in landfill produces methane, a greenhouse gas with 28 times the global-warming potential of carbon dioxide.
Objective 1 in the “City of Yarra Waste Strategy 2014-18” is to ‘work towards eliminating organics from waste stream’. Current actions will not achieve elimination of green and food waste from Yarra’s domestic bins.
We are campaigning to get Yarra City Council to develop an effective municipality-wide strategy for domestic food waste disposal as a matter of priority.
Please support this campaign and sign our petition.
In preparation for the People’s Climate March next month, YCAN is having a banner and placard workshop/ working bee this Saturday. Bring your old coreflutes for refurbishment. Paint etc provided.
Saturday 24 Oct 12 noon onwards
Lunch provided. Ring Carole on 0418 546 168 for venue.
The position of Urban Agriculture Facilitator has been earmarked for axing again in the 2015-16 City of Yarra Draft Budget. Come and help us overturn this decision TONIGHT at the Fitzroy Town Hall, 6.30.
Members of the public will have the opportunity to speak against what some councillors are calling “middle-class welfare”.
See today’s article in The Age