Rockingham councillor Andrew Burns and environmental group Boycott Balloons Fremantle have organised a free event for the city’s proposed single-use plastic and balloons policy.
Conservation Heart Films and Deer Owl Productions have produced the documentary Rubber Fish which explores the environmental impact of helium balloons.
The documentary will be screened next Tuesday at 7pm at the Rockingham Regional Environment Centre.
Organisers said the event will be an opportunity for the public to develop an informed opinion on single-use plastics before submissions close.
Councillor Burns said the policy received an overly positive response.
“Some people are concerned that it’s a little misguided, they have some concerns with regards to the costs of implementing the alternative to plastics,” he said.
The draft policy was introduced in February and public submissions must be lodged by next Wednesday, April 10.
The policy aims to minimise single-use plastics over a transition period of 12 months.
The ban would apply to all city operations, businesses operating with a City-issued permit, and any events that require City approval.
Under the policy helium balloons, single-use plastics, polystyrene serving materials and plastic bags cannot be used, sold or distributed.
UWA researcher in natural resource management Harriet Paterson said single-use plastic bans are the first step in fixing the problem.
“The policy starts well – helium balloons are a disaster to the environment,” she said.
“There are a lot of people that care about this and will actually start choosing vendors on the grounds they are using products that can be disposed of properly. “
If the policy is implemented, plastic event materials are to be reused and single-use bottled water will not be provided at City functions given potable drinking water is available.
Councillor Burns said giving the public an avenue for education is important.
“I always say people have their own lives and own priorities, they don’t have time to sit through and read all the reports that we do, so when something comes up that’s a particular interest, I like to make a bit of an extra effort to try and keep people up to date,” he said.
Once public submissions for the proposed policy close next Wednesday, a report will be generated for council consideration.
People can register to attend via the Facebook event