Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Water bottle ban fills Latrobe wellbeing plan

A 12-month trial banning the use of single use water bottles at a local sports stadium has resulted in the capture of 65,500 plastic water bottles from landfill, Latrobe City Council has reported.

The trial, initially deferred due to the impacts of COVID, was held at the Gippsland Regional Indoor Sports Stadium where single use waters bottles weren’t made available for sale, rather user groups and patrons were able to access communal water drinking fountains and purchase refillable water bottles. Since installation, the communal water drinking fountains have provided 39,306 litres of water.

The Living Well Latrobe, Municipal Public Health and Well Being Plan 2022-2025 is Council’s commitment to ensure the Latrobe City community is as healthy and safe a place as possible for everyone.

“To support the Plan and, importantly, the community in making healthy and active lifestyle choices, as the operators of sporting and recreation facilities, it is important for Council to promote healthy lifestyles, healthy eating and water as the drink of choice,” Council said in a statement.

“The trial, while successful in reducing the volume of plastic pollution which harms our health, wildlife and the environment and attracts significant clean-up costs, resulted in an increase in the sale of sports and soft drinks.”

Engagement with the Sports Stadium’s user groups and patrons found that overall sentiment indicated a preference to see the removal of sugar sweetened drinks in place of water being made available for sale. Following the removal of the sale of bottled water, sports drink sales increased from 2018/19 to 2021/22 by 79% and soft drink sales by 47%.

At Monday night’s Council meeting, Council voted in support of removing the supply of single use water bottles at all Latrobe City Council venues and events in a staged approach, by the end of 2023.

Council also endorsed to investigate partnerships and opportunities to supply refillable bottles as part of the preparation of Council’s Sustainability and Environment Action Plan, and to reduce and remove the availability of some single use plastics in line with proposed new environmental regulations in Victoria.

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