Data Journalism

Melbourne businesses key to city’s green future

Written by Ainsley Koch


Map of collected waste in Melbourne

Hospitality and retail businesses will be the latest contributors to the City of Melbourne’s long- term goal of becoming a green city, thanks to their new Single Use Waste Reduction Fund.

The fund was developed by the City of Melbourne as part of its waste reduction strategy, aiming to reduce the city’s overall waste usage.

With plenty of businesses already on board the strategy, several others have plans to start taking steps towards minimising their waste.

Member of ACMI’s ‘Green Team,’ Richard Greenhallgh, said businesses and larger corporations have an active part to play in reducing the city’s overall waste.

“At ACMI we have a corporate responsibility to minimise our impact on the environment as an organisation,” he said.

ACMI’s Green Team works tirelessly to strategize how they can reduce their overall waste and monitor waste usage.

“We have a number of initiatives for example, in regards to usage of power; monitoring how much we’re re- using; how much we can do, and any kind of initiatives we can have around minimising that kind of impact,” Mr Greenhallgh said.

As part of the City of Melbourne’s Single Use Waste Reduction Fund, businesses can apply for a $2,000 grant to help begin reducing their waste. This can be through purchasing re-useable items that avoid single use materials like plastic bags, straws and cups.

With reports by ABC’s War on Waste program, approximately 92 per cent of the one billion coffee cups used by Australians each year go to landfill; but many Melbourne cafés are beginning to reduce those figures.

Owner of Tom Thumb, Darren Taing, said that by offering a 50 cent discount to customers who bring their own re-useable coffee cups, the café is able to raise public awareness about the importance of taking small steps to reduce our carbon footprint.

“At Tom Thumb we obviously sell coffee cups as well, but we also want to incentivise our customers to save on waste as well, so whenever one of our customers comes in to purchase a coffee and bring their own cup we also slash 50 cents off the price,” he said.

And regular coffee drinkers like Alison McCormack say there’s a huge benefit to using your own re-useable cup.

“Here [ACMI] you get a massive saving. It’s $2.50 instead of $4 so there’s another benefit,” she said.

The Single Use Waste Reduction Fund is part of the City of Melbourne’s long- term Waste and Resource Recovery Plan, designed to reduce overall waste to landfill and better manage the city’s annual waste production.

Darren Taing said businesses and individuals should be aware of their role in protecting the environment.

“We can do a lot when it comes to saving on waste and helping people understand that there are lot of steps we can take to protect the environment,” he said.

For Melbourne businesses wanting to take part in the initiative, applications close on 20 October.







About the author

Ainsley Koch