The Brisbane City Council has voted to make its mark on eliminating at least some of the city's plastic rubbish opportunity by banning the sale of single use plastics, including single use bottles, straws and helium balloons at any event held on council property. So if this is you at a Hen's party in your local council park, those balloons cannot be sold to you. (I know what you are thinking. No one goes to a council park for a Hen's party. but honestly, these girls did.) And you won't be able to buy these drinks either at the park either. Well, you can have the drink, but not with the straws.
In reality, the venue event on a council property is more likely to be a fair, fete, farmer's market or general market with potentially thousands of people. So this new ban is a massive shift, both for diminished rubbish and most importantly, to make way for new ways of dealing with the role these items of rubbish used to play.In plain english that means, how do you get a drink of water? You will need to bring your own in a reusable and there is likely to be more filling stations.
Bear in mind that council property includes venues like the Brisbane Exhibition Centre and these kinds of PR balloons would technically fall under the ban, as will bottled water, which has been typically widely available.Council-sponsored events also will be encouraged to adopt similar practices, so let's hope they get the hint. This new law is in stark contrast to the recent behaviour of the nearby Ipswich Mayor, who simply cancelled the Recycle program when he seemingly couldn't deal with the mounting trash in the community's recycling. (Somewhat ironically, the entire Ipswich City Council, starting with the Mayor, who has been charged with fraud by Queensland's Crime and Corruption Commission, has since been sacked.)Wildlife Queensland is lobbying for a complete ban on the deliberate release of helium balloons - something in place on the Sunshine Coast, but not yet in place in Brisbane. Mass balloon releases are banned in New South Wales (since 1999).Some shopping centres like Retail First have also banned helium balloons across their Brisbane centres.Images: Unsplash - Dave Adshar / Kate Townsend | Brisbane Media Times | Brisbane Event Photographer