Plastic straws suck

Just so pleased that my motion to ban plastic straws in Unley was approved by Unley Council on 27 August, 2018.
This is a great outcome and reflects the sentiments in the community.
During debate, my motion was described by fellow Councillor Michael Hewitson as demonstrating leadership.
I will continue to pursue environmentally friendly initiatives at Unley Council.

Here is a copy of the motion and background information that I provided ...

1. That plastic straws be banned from being dispensed at all Council events, Council sponsored events and private functions held at Council venues.
2. The ban on plastic straws being dispensed at Council events, Council sponsored events and private functions held at Council venues take effect from 1 January 2019.
3. Where appropriate, Council promote the use of non-plastic straws eg. those made from paper, hemp and other emerging sources.
4. Dispensation from any plastic straw ban be given to those people in genuine need due to health issues and disability.

Every day in Australia about 10 million plastic straws are used.
They are single use and then discarded.
Some are placed in a bin, but many are littered.
They can not be recycled due to their size.
Those that end up in landfill take about 450 years to degrade.
The concern is for those that end up in the water-ways and especially the ocean.
In the ocean, straws cause havoc with sea life. They can be mistaken for food and ingested by sea animals. Further, the straws can be broken down into micro plastics and enter the food chain.

Straws might seem harmless, but the humble plastic straw is one of the worst culprits in environmental damage. As a society we must stop using plastic straws and switch to an eco-friendly alternative.

The pressure is mounting for change and responsible businesses and communities across the globe are responding. There is a growing trend in Australia.

The intent of this motion is to reduce the use of plastic straws in Unley and promote discussion and commitment in the community. It is envisaged that as a result of Unley's decision, other businesses, organisations and residents will commit to minimal use of plastic straws. The alternative eco-friendly straws will adequately meet the need for a straw.

This is an opportunity that Unley Council can and must take.
It's an ethical issue.
We need to do it.