More than 30 companies have signed a pledge with the City of Sydney to dramatically reduce the use of single-use plastics in their businesses.

Hospitality, accommodation, events, and property companies including the Sydney Opera House, Atlassian, Fox Studios, and Star Entertainment Group joined Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore to sign the Sydney Single-Use Pledge.

According to Moore, the pledge aims to cut down on the use of a range of single-use items including plastic bottles, straws, utensils, and throwaway cups.

“The City has set bold targets to reach zero waste by 2030. We must reduce the amount of waste we produce, recycle as much as possible and treat what’s left over in the most sustainable way,” said Moore.

“I congratulate the businesses who have signed up to this pledge, and I urge others to get on board and commit to phasing out single-use plastic because it’s better for business and better for the environment.”

Moore cited studies showing that up to one million plastic drink bottles are purchased around the world every minute, but less than 50 per cent are collected for recycling.

“Plastic straws can last up to 600 years and many end up in our beautiful harbour and waterways. It is shameful that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

“While recycling plays an important role in managing our waste, we need to refocus on reduction and avoidance,” she added.

Steve Ford, head of sustainability and energy at property group GPT, said organisations have a big part to play in reducing plastic waste.

“GPT recognises that waste is being generated at unsustainable rates. We’ve adopted a ‘closed loop’ objective to manage materials that tenants dispose of.

“But we recognise that wherever possible, it’s better to eliminate unnecessary single-use items. The single-use pledge is a call to action for all organisations to acknowledge they have a major role to play in tackling the problem of single-use items,” he said.

The pledge commits businesses to undertake at least four actions reducing reliance on single-use plastics; the City of Sydney itself has taken a “platinum pledge” to phase out seven items.

Food & Drink Business

Australian Food and Grocery Council CEO Tanya Barden says research by the Council shows the value food and grocery manufacturing brings to the economy and local communities.

CSIRO scientists have development new technology to detect gluten in any food and show which grain it comes from, helping to track any contamination in the raw ingredient supply chain, as well accuracy in pack labelling around gluten-free claims.

The 155-year-old milk pasteurisation process is being challenged by a new patented technology from The Wholey Milk Co. Doris Prodanovic reports.