Good Food Guide awards Sydney Doesn’t Suck campaign

On 8 October, the City of Sydney Councillor Jess Miller-led Sydney Doesn’t Suck campaign won the Food for Good Award at the National Good Food Guide’s 2018 Awards in Melbourne.

“To get this acknowledgment from the sector and watch the growing support from hundreds of venues across Sydney has been amazing,” Jess says.

“The commitment, just from the Sydney Opera House precinct alone, means that more than two million turtle-choking straws will not be used within the next year. That’s a pretty incredible outcome.”

The award, which celebrates innovation, charity and sustainability, was presented to the campaign, a movement drawing attention to the positive work Sydney’s cafés, hospitality and entertainment venues are doing to limit their use of single-use plastic straws.

According to ABC’s War on Waste, 10 million straws are used by Australians each day, or 3.6 billion annually.

“With the spotlight on Sydney’s night-time economy often focusing on discussions around policing, lockout and red-tape review, it tends to obscure the good work that the hospitality sector is doing to encourage wider positive social change,” says Michael Rodrigues of Time Out, a Sydney Doesn’t Suck partner.

“We saw supporting this campaign as an easy entry point for improved sustainable practices across the industry.”

Solotel Group’s Opera Bar played a role in kick-starting the campaign’s momentum. Before removing them entirely in August, the harbour-side bar served more than one million plastic straws per annum.

“We used this moment in time – Jess’ passion, the ABC’s War on Wastefeature and ongoing feedback from our customers – to drive change within our group, and the industry at large. It was a fantastic campaign,” says Dan Lacaze, Group Marketing Director for the Solotel Group.

“Many of our pubs in the Inner West have been plastic-straw free for some time, but I’m proud to say we committed all 30 venues being plastic-straw free from 1 August, with Opera Bar leading the charge.”

Sydney Opera House Environmental Sustainability Manager Emma Bombonato says the campaign is a symbol of modern Australia.

“We feel it’s our responsibility to lead by example and encourage all of Sydney to support Sydney Doesn’t Suck,” she says.

“The Opera House is one of the only World Heritage buildings to achieve green certification internationally, and we’re passionate about building sustainable thinking into everything we do, from eradicating plastic straws onsite and transforming leftover straws into art to becoming certified carbon neutral five years ahead of our goal.”

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Patrons are encouraged to search social media for the #SydneyDoesntSuck hashtag to see which venues are participating.

Venues keen to go straw-free and reduce their waste are encouraged to visit thelaststraw.com.au.