City of Sydney: Take the pledge to eliminate single use plastic

City of Sydney

Photo courtesy of Hamilton Lund

Everyone has seen War on Waste by now and is hopefully taking action to avoid single use plastic anything.

So is the City of Sydney. Responding to rising consumer concern about ocean plastics and carbon emitting landfills, it launched an exciting new suite of projects in May this year under its Sustainable Destination Partnership.

One of these projects is a pledge for entertainment and accommodation venues, along with other businesses across the city, to dramatically reduce their use of single-use plastics.

It’s called the Single-use Pledge, and so far more than 50 businesses have taken the dive, including influential names such as the Sydney Opera House, Fox Studios and Star Entertainment Group.

And the list is still growing.

You can sign up to take the pledge here and see how big we can make that number.

Enthusiasm for the Single-use Pledge project was clear with standing room only at its launch in May this year. Industry leaders from the hospitality, accommodation, events and property sectors packed into Sydney’s Town Hall House to hear some great encouragement from Lord Mayor Clover Moore and to swap stories with likeminded people and spur each other towards a more sustainable Sydney.

“It is shameful that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish,” Ms Moore said.

“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.”

A range of businesses and organisations shared their breakthroughs with short presentations throughout the event, from the University of Technology Sydney which will soon open a new food court in August that will have no single use plastic to YHA Australia that has already eliminated plastic drink bottles and replaced them with water fountains instead. That’s a saving of 40,000 water bottles each year. 

The Museum of Contemporary Art was one of the first signatories of the Single-use Pledge

The Single-use Pledge project is one of a number of initiatives that fthe Sustainable Destination Partnership is working on. First announced in June 2018, the partnership brings together Sydney’s accommodation and entertainment venues to not only massively reduce their use of single use items but also their carbon emissions and broader environmental impact.

The Partnership is facilitated by the City of Sydney and includes hotels, backpacker hostels,  cultural institutions, entertainment venues and industry influencers. Among the growing membership are heavyweights such as the Australian National Maritime Museum, Shangri-La Hotel, Hilton Sydney and YHA Australia. 

The City of Sydney has estimated waste, energy and water reductions across Sydney’s accommodation and entertainment venues could lead to long-term economic savings of up to $32 million by 2030.

It is shameful that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish

The Sustainable Destination Partnership also presents new market opportunities that could boost visitor numbers and local employment figures. The fact that the millennial generation will represent 75 per cent of the global workforce by 2025, for example.

And keep an eye out for new Greenlisters profiled as part of the Single-use Pledge.

“This generation expects businesses to be active citizens and demands that those businesses help them live sustainably,” the City of Sydney pointed out.

In fact, one study by Nielsen suggests that 72 per cent of millennials would be willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings, and as the growth of the green economy continues, public appetite for corporate social responsibility will only grow with it.

“By working collaboratively with the key players in this sector, we can reduce carbon pollution, boost the use of renewable energy and put Sydney on the map as a sustainable destination for leisure and business travellers,” said Cr Moore.

More than 30 organisations from the hospitality, accommodation, events and property sectors joined Lord Mayor Clover Moore to launch the Sydney Single-use Pledge.

“The city has set bold targets 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.

“I congratulate the businesses who have signed up to this pledge, and I urge others to get on board and commit to phasing out single-use plastic because it’s better for business and better for the environment.”

Stay tuned for our five exciting profiles on some of the companies helping make businesses make the sustainable switch away from single use plastics and excessive food waste.

Head to SDP’s website for plenty of helpful resources, or take the Single-use Pledge today!

The city has set bold targets to reach zero waste by 2030.

Sustainable Destination Partnership

Government | Sydney