Castlemaine push to go 'plastic free'

The group is set to screen the film Plastic Oceans to highlight the issue on World Environment Day.

The group is set to screen the film Plastic Oceans to highlight the issue on World Environment Day.

There are moves afoot to make Castlemaine the latest city to go Plastic Bag Free.

Local sustainability group The Hub Foundation has initiated a Plastic Bag Free Castlemaine project and is exploring actions to support the elimination of the single-use plastic bag.

Plastic Bag Free Castlemaine project officer Lucy Young made a presentation about the project to Mount Alexander Shire Council on May 16 during public question time.

Ms Young said the screening of the ABC's first War on Waste that evening illustrated that this issue was of utmost visibility right now and that change was inevitable.

"However, we believe there are some advantages to being an 'early adopter', not only for the benefit to our environment and local economy but also for our sense of town pride and acting together to be Innovative, Creative and Connected," she said.

As expected the program sparked lots of interest and debate in the Castlemaine community and various calls for action.

The Hub Foundation aims to unite local interest groups and make the goal a reality.

Ms Young said they had already begun talking to local businesses about possibilities and alternatives, such as moving to good quality paper bags or organising to buy in bulk to save retailers money.

They also plan to work closely with the founders of Boomerang Bags - a Castlemaine initiative which has been creating fabric bags to leave at local businesses to provide local shoppers with an alternative to plastic.

"If you forget to bring a bag you can simply borrow a Boomerang Bag and return it clean for reuse," Ms Young said.

Boomerang Bags' Ginny Thomas said they were providing a vehicle for a community which is frustrated with plastic in the environment and giving it voice to do something.

The Hub Foundation will officially launch the Plastic Bag Free Castlemaine campaign with its first educational event - a screening of the environmental film Plastic Oceans on World Environment Day next Monday, June 5 at the Ray Bradfield Room from 6.30pm.

Described by Sir David Attenborough as "the most important film of our time" it illustrates the impact of plastic on our environment.

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