Hobart is set to say goodbye to single-use plastics, after the council voted to enforce its ban on non-compostable food packaging from next year, becoming the first city in Australia to do so. The Hobart City Council's ban tackles non-compostable takeaway food packaging, which according to the Environment Protection Authority Tasmania, makes up about 50 per cent of the city's rubbish.
It was estimated that the ban would take 10 million bits of single-use plastic out of the waste stream and litter stream every year in Hobart. The ban includes, but is not limited to, tubs and lids, cups and cup lids, utensils, including cutlery, stirrers and straws, sachets and packets. Yes, even the soy sauce fish is on its way out.
It does not, however, mean the end of containers, straws or utensils, all of these can be substituted with compostable packaging.
While it's not considered to be the ultimate solution to litter, compostable packaging is able to break down in the environment, particularly when disposed of properly. Council research found that about a third of Hobart's 300 businesses were already using some form of compostable packaging, and the hope, said Cr Harvey, was that this by-law would nudge the rest to make the change.