Parramatta Farmers Market to scrap single-use plastics

City of Parramatta Council’s Farmers Market will be going plastic free as part of a new initiative. From Friday 31 January, stallholders and food vendors will begin phasing out single-use plastic packaging and utensils and replacing them with reusable or compostable alternatives during the Farmers Market Plastic-Free Campaign.

“We’ve all seen the devastating impacts of single-use plastic products on our environment and wildlife, as well as the pressure they place on landfill,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer said.

“Council is committed to reducing plastic waste in our City, including at our own events. Our Farmers Market attract lots of visitors every week, so going plastic free will make a big difference to our environment and community.”

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Council will also launch a 10-week compostable waste trial during the Plastic-Free Campaign. From 31 January to 3 April, Council will place green-lid bins at the Farmers Market for the disposal of food scraps and other organic waste. EarthPower Technologies in Western Sydney will then transform this waste into sustainable products such as green energy and nutrient-rich fertiliser.

“About 80 per cent of the waste currently generated at the Farmers Market can be composted, but instead it ends up in general waste bins,” Cr Dwyer said. “Our compostable waste trial will help us reduce our ecological footprint but we need your help to succeed. Make sure you only throw organic waste and food scraps in bins with a green lid.”

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Parramatta Farmers Market is held at Centenary Square every Friday, offering a variety of food stalls and fresh Australian produce. Centenary Square is the site of the City’s original food market dating back to 1791.

Council has committed to phasing out the use of single-use plastics from its operations and events by 2021, as outlined in its Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2019-2023. Council has also committed to delivering programs that encourage the community and local businesses to steer away from single-use plastics.

One of Council’s biggest annual events, Parramatta Lanes, last year scrapped single-use drinking cups, plastic straws, and plastic drinking bottles.

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Council’s Farmers Market Plastic-Free Campaign was endorsed by student delegates at the What’s Up West Youth Conference in November 2019.