Single-use plastics

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Our commitment

At the Council Meeting on 27 June 2018, Council committed to phase out single-use plastic across its services. 

A report was presented at the Council Meeting on 19 December 2018 recommending that Council support the Towards Zero Single-use Plastics Investigation and Action Plan – a project aimed at reducing single-use plastic. It was proposed that the project should involve a full audit across Council’s various functions to gain an understanding of Council’s use of single-use plastic and that an action plan be prepared to guide the phasing out of single-use plastic.

It was recommended that this project take a multi-phase approach in line with the following stages.

Stage 1 – Internal action plan implementation and policy development (2020-2021)

The first stage of the project focused on improving Council's own practices. The results from the report and action plan were used to phase out single-use plastic across Council facilities, services and events.

The development of a comprehensive policy to support the elimination of single-use plastic at Council facilities, services and events would demonstrate leadership and clearly communicate Council’s commitment to waste reduction and resource recovery. 

Stage 2 – Wider community engagement and policy implementation (2020-2022)

The lessons learned from the first stage of this project were used to inform Stage 2. This next stage saw the single-use plastic policy extend to all users of Council-owned or managed land and facilities as well as Council sponsored events and events held on Council land and buildings.

Stage 2 also involved the development and implementation of a communication and education campaign that encourages the broader residential and business community in the shire to reduce their use of single-use items.

The timeline of the project has seen significant delays due to ongoing challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Single-use Plastic Policy

Council acknowledges that single-use plastic is a major environmental litter source. Recently, Council adopted a Single-use Plastics Policy, which will eliminate single-use plastic from Council operations.

Planning an event in the Shire? The Policy may apply to you. 

Need support?

Council is here to support businesses, event organisers and community groups who may be affected by the State Government’s single-use plastic bans and the introduction of Council’s Single-use Plastic Policy.

You can request a consultation with our Resource Recovery team to assist with the transition or phasing out challenging items. Call (03) 5422 0333 or e-mail

Please remember, that the Resource Recovery team are here to support the community, so don't hesitate to reach out to the team! 

State-wide single-use plastic bans

The Victorian Government has taken action against single-use plastic.

Balloon release ban

It is illegal to release balloons into the environment in Victoria. It is littering and can harm wildlife. Learn more about the ban on releasing balloons by visiting the Victorian Government website.


Plastic bag ban

On 1 November 2019 the ban on lightweight plastic bags (plastic bags with handles and 35 microns or less in thickness) came into effect. Learn more about the ban by visiting the Vic Bag Ban website.


Single-use plastic ban

On 1 February 2023, problematic single-use plastic were banned from sale or supply in Victoria.

Banned plastic items:

  • drinking straws
  • cutlery including knives, forks, spoons, chopsticks, sporks, splades and food picks
  • plates
  • drink stirrers and sticks
  • cotton bud sticks
  • expanded polystyrene food service items and drink containers. This includes expanded polystyrene plates, cups, bowls, clam shells and any cover or lid that is also made from expanded polystyrene.

Learn more about the ban by visiting the Victorian Government website.

Hanging Rock Single-use Plastics Art Competition and Exhibition

During term 1 in 2023, early learning, kindergarten, primary and secondary school-aged students, were invited to enter our Single-use Plastics Art Competition. Entrants were asked to create an artwork that included some pieces of single-use plastic to show the impact plastic has on our environment. 

Shortlisted entries were judged by a panel of Councillors. Due to the large volume of entries and diversity in the content, multiple winners were selected from each category. 

Each winner received:

  • a certificate
  • a worm farm or compost bin (made from recycled plastic)
  • a delivery of compost for their school 

All winners have their original artwork displayed at ‘The Impacts of Single-Use Plastics’ exhibition at the Discovery Centre at Hanging Rock Reserve.

And the winners are...

Save our waterways – Early learning category

Plastic can be found in rivers, lakes and creeks where they eventually end up in the ocean, where it does not belong. Sea life and wildlife often mistake plastic for food which isn’t good for them or for the planet. Create a piece of artwork to help spread the word and save our waterways from plastic.

  • Walert group, four-year-old kinder - Swinburne Avenue Kindergarten
  • Liam, Macedon Ranges Montessori Pre-School

Click on each image below to browse the image gallery.

Pesky Plastics! - Primary School Category

When you throw away plastic, where does it go? The trouble with plastics is they never go away! Lots of single-use plastics are lightweight, so they blow away easily and turn into litter. Let’s work together to create some art to help reduce the amount of plastic we use to keep places like Hanging Rock Reserve and our planet free from single-use plastic litter.

  • Molly, Riddells Creek Primary School
  • Owen, Bolinda Primary School
  • Emily, Hesket Primary School

Click on each image below to browse the image gallery.

Plastic fantastic! - Secondary school category

It’s fantastic in so many ways – strong, convenient, lightweight, durable and cheap to produce. It’s not fantastic for the same reasons when it reaches the environment, plus it lasts forever. Globally the use of plastic has increased, so has plastic litter and pollution. Each and every one of us has a part to play – we can reduce our plastic use and consumption, reuse and recycle responsibly to have a positive impact. It’s time to get creative and share the message on the impacts that single-use plastics have on the environment.

  • Ella, Braemar College
  • Rebecca, Braemar College

Click on each image below to browse the image gallery.

The 'Impacts of Single-Use Plastics' Exhibition

As part of Council’s commitment to phasing out single-use plastics, the ‘Impacts of Single-Use Plastics’ exhibition was launched at the end of June 2023. The exhibit provides an eye-opening look at single-use plastic pollution and its effect on our local environment. See the winning entries, along with images of the 250 competition entries.

Walk away feeling empowered to take action against plastic pollution.

Plan your visit to Hanging Rock

Click the images below to browse through all entries.


Plastic Free July Council Partner

Council has been a partner of Plastic Free July since 2021. As a Council Member, we're doing our part to alleviate the recycling crisis, reduce landfill waste and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Learn more about Plastic Free July.