FOR FRANKLIN: Mayor Andy Ireland, Straw No More “Strawbassador” Charlie Erlewein and mum Kirstin with councillors Andrea Friend, Pat Eastwood, Nigel Hutton, Rhodes Watson, Glenda Mather and Adam Belot at council's ordinary meeting on March 16, where Charlie addressed council to share in her message of stopping the use of plastic straws in Livingstone Shire. Picture: Contributed
FOR FRANKLIN: Mayor Andy Ireland, Straw No More “Strawbassador” Charlie Erlewein and mum Kirstin with councillors Andrea Friend, Pat Eastwood, Nigel Hutton, Rhodes Watson, Glenda Mather and Adam Belot at council's ordinary meeting on March 16, where Charlie addressed council to share in her message of stopping the use of plastic straws in Livingstone Shire. Picture: Contributed

Young girl moves council to consider banning plastic straws

An eight-year-old girl’s community vision has moved councillors to commence public consultation for consideration of a “no plastic straw policy” in Livingstone Shire.

Charlie Erlewein presented her community vision at Council Chambers on Tuesday, March 16, with the support of her mother Kirstin, to highlight the negative impacts single use plastics have on our marine life and the environment.

After introducing herself and her cause to the councillors, Charlie said she was the youngest Straw No More “StrawBassador” in Australia.

She told councillors she had been a part of Straw No More since she was six years old and was doing this because of her pet turtle, Franklin.

“Turtles are in danger with straws and single use plastics,” she said.

“Straws can get stuck in their nose or their stomachs.

“I would like to know how council is going to address the issue.”

The Queensland Government will ban single-use plastics and straws from September 2021.

Councillor Andrea Friend, who put forward the notice of motion to council, said she was backing the proposed ban of single use plastics and a proposed Straw No More policy, and encouraged other councillors to follow suit.

“Plastic straws simply break into ever-small particles, releasing the chemicals into the soil, air, and water,” Cr Friend said.

“These are harmful to animals, plants, people and the environment. It may take decades, if not centuries, for straws to degrade.”

She said Central Queensland was home to six of the world’s seven marine turtle species.

“All six of these species are threatened with extinction, being listed as either vulnerable or endangered, under Australian and Queensland legislation,” she said.

“The flatback turtle, green turtle, and loggerhead turtle nest on Central Queensland beaches.

“This year’s turtle season had seen 282 marine turtle tracks across Capricorn Coasts. That’s about one turtle track per kilometre of our coastline.

“It is imperative that council sets the standard for a plastic, straw-free, environment.”

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