Plastics and waste

We want our community to be Plastic Wise: that's the name of our program to help reduce the distribution and use of plastic products. With a focus on businesses and consumers, we do what we can to educate the community and ensure the safety of our natural environment.

There are a number of programs in place in the shire to support our Plastic Wise mission:

Plastic Wise Events and Markets Policy

This policy is Council's commitment to reducing or eliminating single use plastic at events and markets in the Surf Coast Shire. It encourages operators to reuse event materials, promote reusable bags and water bottles and requires event operators to provide comprehensive waste management plans.

Surf Coast Shire Council Plastic Wise Events and Markets Policy(PDF, 115KB)

Plastic Bag Free Surf Coast

The Surf Coast towns of Anglesea, Aireys Inlet, Deans Marsh, Winchelsea and Fairhaven have successfully replaced single use plastic bags with reusable and durable alternatives. Torquay and Jan Juc are currently phasing out the use and distribution of single use plastic bags with handles made of polyethylene polymer less than 35 microns. For more information visit Plastic Bag Free Torquay


BYO H2O encourages Surf Coast residents and visitors to bring their own drinking bottle when out and about in the Surf Coast Shire. Instead of buying single use disposable water bottles people are able to utilise over 30 public drinking taps and fountains that can be found at various locations across the region.

Boomerang bags

Boomerang bags have been implemented in collaboration with Plastic Bag Free Torquay and Surf Coast businesses and shoppers. It is a community sharing and plastic reducing initiative that provides re-usable, and often recycled bags in a dispenser for shoppers to borrow and return. The dispensers can be found at Torquay IGA, Torquay Bendigo Bank, Bellbrae Primary School, Torquay Farmer’s Market and Surf Coast Civic Building.

Plastic Wise community education and awareness

Within the Surf Coast Shire there are a large number of stakeholders- groups, organisations and businesses, who contribute to community awareness projects and events. This is a recognised strength within the region, building on community education and mobilisation to encourage the application of environmentally friendly practices. Projects include trivia nights, film nights, presentations, public plastic wise signage and school based activities. If you are interested in delivering a plastic wise based initiative email or phone 5261 0600

Community beach clean ups

There are a number of ongoing and annual community beach clean ups taking place in the Surf Coast region. For more information visit Clean Up Australia, Surfrider Foundation Torquay or Plastic Bag Free Torquay

Take Three

The Take 3 campaign has a simple message; take three pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway or any environmental area. The campaign has been gathering momentum in the Surf Coast Shire with rubbish bin signage promoting Take 3 and movie and educational nights and activities for the community, schools and throughout various events. For more information visit Take 3

Seal the Loop

The Seal the Loop campaign is focussed on minimising waste that is accumulated through fishing by providing easy access to bins in prime fishing locations. The aim of the campaign is to reduce wildlife entanglement rates and raise awareness on the harmful affects of plastic on marine wildlife. For more information and to find out where the bins are situated visit Seal the Loop.