More ‘plastic free’ events for ACT

national plastics plan

The ACT Government is cutting harmful single-use plastics from more major events in Canberra, including at GIO Stadium and Manuka Oval.

The latest declaration also includes the ‘Groovin the Moo’ music festival at Exhibition Park on Sunday 24 April – which joins several other ‘plastic-free’ public events including the National Folk Festival during the Easter weekend.

“This is another big step in accelerating our city’s shift towards a more sustainable future,” said Chris Steel, Minister for Transport and City Services.

“Food vendors who operate at NRL and Super Rugby matches at GIO Stadium, AFL and cricket matches at Manuka Oval will now move away from single-use plastic items such as plastic bowls, plates, single-use plastic straws and takeaway containers, swapping them with items made from materials like hard cardboard or sugar-cane mulch.

“This means fans attending football games at GIO, cricket at Manuka or these music festivals at Exhibition Park will easily be able to take action to reduce their use of plastic,” said Steel.

Phil Thomson, Chief Executive Officer Brumbies Rugby said that as a hirer of GIO Stadium Canberra, and a team intrinsically involved in the Canberra and region community, the policy shift is a positive one that the Brumbies support.

Stephen Halpin, Co-Promoter, Groovin the Moo (GTM) said eliminating single-use plastics is a priority for GTM.

“Our aim is to improve year on year and in 2022, in addition to our existing initiatives, we’re proud to be working alongside the ACT Government to ensure that single use plastic straws and plastic takeaway containers will no longer be part of Groovin the Moo.”

Lynne O’Brien, Managing Director, National Folk Festival said she was delighted to hear other local events have taken up the challenge to reduce their single-use plastic items.

“Each year the National Folk Festival carefully curates a festival marketplace which celebrates ethically sourced materials and sustainability. This year, we’re pleased to work with the ACT Government on even more ways we can improve our waste reduction.”

Last November the ACT took nation-leading action by cutting out a range of single-use plastics at iconic Canberra events such as Australia Day in the Capital, the Royal Canberra Show and Enlighten Festival. This was in addition to the Territory-wide ban on single-use plastic cutlery, stirrers and expanded polystyrene takeaway containers which took effect in 2021.

“Canberrans have shown great support for phasing out single-use plastics, and we’re now working towards identifying more items to add to the list,” said Steel.

Consultation is underway with industry and disability organisations for the second tranche of bans to occur from 1 July 2022 under the Government’s updated Single-Use Plastics Next Steps Policy. Items currently under consideration to be banned from 1 July 2022 include single-use plastic straws (with exemptions for those who need them), cotton buds with plastic sticks, all oxo-degradable plastic products – such as degradable plastic bags and degradable dog waste bags and single-use plastic fruit and vegetable barrier bags.

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Related stories:

First stage of ACT single-use plastics ban to commence July 2021

Plastic-free public events in ACT


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