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Edition 50 - August 2016

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In this edition

  1. From the Litter Champion   
  2. VLAA member profile - Australian Packaging Covenant
  3. Keep NSW Beautiful Litter Congress 2016
  4. Wader Beach for birds not litter
  5. Plastic bag free Warburton 
  6. KVB 2016 Sustainable City of the Year Awards
  7. RiverConnect communities
  8. Take 2 campaign 
  9. ResourceSmart Schools Awards 2016
  10. What’s on the Web
  11. Calendar dates 2016

From the Litter Champion

Learning, sharing, and planning sum up my last couple of months.
In June I attended the Litter Free Roads Workshop in Sydney, coordinated by NSW EPA and Roads and Maritime Services (RMS). The one-day workshop brought together project and operational teams to discuss litter reduction on NSW roads.

There was a strong focus on collaboration and sharing ideas, and I learned much about the constraints and risks involved in roadside litter management from RMS’s perspective.

I also visited Geelong to train 16 Green Army participants in using the LLMT, and to Camperdown to share an update on VLAA and SV’s litter work with my Team Leader.

Litter Enforcement Training is being finalised, as are three exciting litter prevention projects that SVs Waste Education Team are co-designing with litter managers.

Finally, here’s The Plastic Soup, an article I had published in new industry magazine, CWS. Enjoy!

Donna Shiel
VLAA Litter Champion

Trish Hyde, Australian Packaging Covenant CEO (left) visits students at Cornish College in Melbourne for the launch of the 'Buddy Bench', a bench made entirely from recycled soft plastic.

VLAA member profile - Australian Packaging Covenant

The Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) is an industry partnership which takes a life-cycle approach to sustainable packaging design, increasing recycling rates and reducing packaging litter.

Over 900 APC signatories commit to leadership in managing the impact of the packaging they produce or use. The APC also funds a range of sustainability projects.

The APC appointed its new CEO, Trish Hyde, in March 2016. Trish is delighted to take on this new role. She said, “This is an exciting time for the APC, as we prepare to launch an enhanced Covenant, with more collaborative, targeted approaches for minimising the environmental impacts of packaging”.

With a successful background in executive leadership and stakeholder relations, one of Trish’s first tasks has been seeing through a new governance structure for the National Packaging Covenant Industry Association, which manages the APC. Once in place, the organisation will operate as the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation Limited.


Keep NSW Beautiful Litter Congress 2016

Tickets are now available for KNSWB Litter Congress 2016: Less Litter, Live Better, and the program is shaping up to be its best yet.

With 35 experts from across the country slated to appear, this year's Congress is focusing on the best and newest litter reduction techniques, campaigns, and methodologies. 

You'll hear stories about projects that eradicated litter from public spaces, community education campaigns that changed the fabric of a town into one devoted to social and sustainable good, and about how to analyse your litter and waste data to make your litter reduction programs more effective. 

If you work in litter reduction, this is the conference for you.
Dates: Wednesday 31 August – Thursday 1 September 2016
Location: Waterview in Bicentennial Park, Sydney Olympic Park.

Click here to learn more about the Congress and book your place now.
Friends of Williamstown Wetlands and their partner groups – collecting the evidence (photo: Scab Duty). 

Wader Beach for birds not litter

The Friends of Williamstown Wetlands’ (FoWW) Wader Beach for Birds not Litter - Tracking the Plastic project is a good example of community science and a “place based” community engagement strategy wrapped in one.

Over two years, the FoWW have built a body of evidence about the prevalence of plastic and litter in the wetlands area through frequent and systematic surveys and audits. 

Over 10 local community groups with various interests are working in partnership with FoWW to help with litter research, clean ups and events to raise community awareness. FoWW also runs the North Western Shorelines network, accessing another 25 groups to exchange information.

This focus on systematic research, supported by a loose consortium of local groups, is adding to our understanding about litter in the Yarra catchment. 

FoWW’s project is funded by the Victorian Government Litter Hotspots program. For more information, email Dr Marilyn Olliff at FoWW.
Plastic bag alternatives are making their mark in Upper Yarra townships (Photo: Plastic Bag Free Warburton).

Plastic Bag Free Warburton!

The team of community volunteers behind the Victorian Litter Hotspots funded project ‘Plastic Bag Free Warburton’ (PBFW) has laid down solid foundations and created local momentum to make the Upper Yarra River township of Warburton plastic bag free. 

The Plastic Bag Free Warburton website provides information on the problem and what people should do, invites subscribers, and has an option to donate. The project’s Facebook page is active with over 500 followers, which is more than what many local litter campaigns achieve.

A major focus in 2016 will be delivering educational activities at primary schools starting in term four.
Recognising that to reduce plastic litter along the Yarra River requires regional action, PBFW is working with similar groups in Healesville and Belgrave, and are keen to see plastic bag free initiatives spreading to all townships in the Yarra Valley and Upper Yarra area.

For more information, email PBFW.
City of Yarra winners at the 2016 Victorian Sustainable City of the Year award ceremony (photo: KVB).

KVB Sustainable City of the Year Awards

The City of Yarra took out Keep Victoria Beautiful’s 2016 Sustainable City of the Year Award in July.

The award acknowledges a raft of environmental sustainability projects delivered by Yarra, including two which received category awards - the Cultural Heritage award for restoration of the Collingwood Town Hall and the Community Action and Leadership award for Yarra’s Roads to Parks initiative.

The Litter Prevention category award went to the World Mission Society Church of God for its 2947th Worldwide Environmental Cleanup Campaign ‘Chelsea Beach’.

Other litter prevention finalists included Bellarine Catchment Network’s Caring For Our Bays Litter Hotspots program, Melton council for its illegal dumping and graffiti campaigns, Wyndham City Council for ‘Wyndham LitterWatch’ and again, Yarra for its creative ‘Beautiful bins reduce litter’ project.
View the 2016 Victorian Sustainable Cities Awards list of winners and finalists.
Each RiverConnect school in the Shepparton-Mooroopna area has a river reach to study and take care of (photo: Greater Shepparton City Council).

RiverConnect communities

Members and volunteers of the Shepparton based RiverConnect program won the Community Government Partnerships category in the 2016 Sustainable City of the Year awards.

Operating since 2005, RiverConnect has brought the Shepparton-Mooroopna community together, especially schools, to take care of the Goulburn and Broken rivers in the vicinity, considered the “heart and soul of the community“.

One of RiverConnect’s flagship programs is Adopt-a-Reach, where the RiverConnect area is used as an outdoor classroom for students and teachers from 18 local schools, plus Berry Street. Each school has its own river reach to work on for environmental protection and educational activities.

Greater Shepparton City Council auspices the RiverConnect project and employs two project officers to support the program. RiverConnect is driven by the Implementation Advisory Committee, comprising land management agencies, community organisations and individual members of the community.

Email RiverConnect or call 03 5832 9700 to learn more.
Working together, we pledge to play our part and take action on climate change for Victoria, our country and our planet.

Take2 campaign

The Victorian Government has set a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and is calling on all Victorians to take part in the TAKE2 pledge program to achieve this goal.

The TAKE2 pledge program enables all Victorians – state government, businesses, councils, community and educational organisations and individuals - to be part of Victoria’s action on climate change. The program also showcases the great work already being done to reduce emissions and drive Victoria’s longer-term shift towards a low carbon economy.

TAKE2 calls on Victorians to Take 2 steps:
  • Step 1: Take the universal pledge “Working together, we pledge to play our part and take action on climate change for Victoria, our country and our planet” at the TAKE 2 website
  • Step 2: On Pledge Action Day, later in 2016, commit to implement the actions planned to deliver their universal pledge.

For information or to pledge, visit
Entries for the ResourceSmart Schools Awards are now open.

ResourceSmart Schools Awards 2016

There’s still time to showcase your school in the ResourceSmart Schools Awards – Victoria’s largest sustainability awards program for schools.

If you know a school with a great sustainability story, encourage them to enter the Awards or speak directly with the Awards team - entries close on 15th August.

Our Principal Sponsor, Momentum Energy is pleased to present the School of the Year with a major prize – a solar panel installation! Simply enter three or more categories to be in the running. Category winners and finalists will share in over $20,000 in cash prizes to fund more sustainability initiatives and projects.

The first 50 schools to submit an entry will receive a free education resource to help with their sustainability projects. Finalists will be invited to the IMAX Melbourne Museum to attend the awards ceremony and education workshops, with financial support to help teachers attend!

Click here for more details.

What’s on the web

News Cigarette butts Plastics Behaviour change Litter projects

Calendar dates 2016

5 August – Applications close for Sustainability Victoria’s Resource Assessment Grants 2015-16 (for materials assessment and combined material and energy assessment grants)

5 August – Submissions on DELWP’s Protecting the Yarra River discussion paper close
10-11 August Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo, Sydney Showground
15 August – Entries close for the ResourceSmart Schools Awards
22-28 August - Keep Australia Beautiful Week 2016 
24 August Australian Packaging Covenant Awards Establishment Hotel, Sydney
25-26 August - Victorian Waste Education Strategy Conference: Measuring Success, Mercure Ballarat
29 August – Finalists in the Premier’s Sustainability Awards announced
31 August – Nominations close for the WMAA Women in the Environment Award
28 August to 2 September - World Water Week, Stockholm (Theme: Water for Sustainable Growth)
8 September – Municipal Association of Victoria Annual Conference Sofitel Melbourne on Collins
4-5 OctoberVictoria Waste Expo Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre


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