Breaking the Plastic Habit program awarded

Tuesday, 16 May, 2023

Breaking the Plastic Habit program awarded

Brookfield Properties has been awarded a CitySwitch Award in recognition of its Breaking the Plastic Habit program in Australia. The business has eliminated more than 2.7 million single-use plastics from its national portfolio of managed office buildings and precincts.

According to Danny De Sousa, Vice President | Sustainability and Innovation, Australia consumes over a million tonnes of single-use plastics every year that degrade into harmful microplastics.

The Breaking the Plastic Habit program is designed to take affirmative action internally while creating an environment of awareness to assist people in reducing reliance on single-use plastics. It helps set a benchmark for commercial tenants, developers, retailers and consumers.

CitySwitch Award, presented by Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, recognises outcomes from the partnership of tenants, building managers and owners, with collaboration key to driving net zero buildings.

To ensure the success of Breaking the Plastic Habit, Brookfield Properties first analysed single-use plastic sources within its own office supply chains to understand and minimise the problem. Before developing partnerships with Plastic Free July and Plastic Oceans Australasia to help build its awareness program, the company cut a swathe within its own office chain of commercial buildings and precincts.

Mathew Chandler, Senior Vice President | Marketing and Communications, Brookfield Properties, said starting small helped the company identify quick wins.

“We removed dozens of sources of single-use plastic products from our staff kitchens, such as condiments, food wraps and breakfast spreads, and replaced them with single-use, plastic-free alternatives. Our sustainability and operations teams took lessons learned from those first steps to then target the supply chains of our commercial property portfolios, replacing everything from bin liners, umbrella bags, plastic-coated stickers and posters, and bathroom amenities,” Chandler said.

Brookfield Properties teamed up with Plastic Oceans Australasia to pilot its EPIC waste solution program at Brookfield Place Sydney, encouraging the building’s tenants to understand, analyse and strategise against the sources of single-use plastics in their office waste.

Many nationwide initiatives have come from Breaking the Plastic Habit, including:

  • partnering with Containers for Change to collect plastic bottles that couldn’t be avoided
  • the installation of water refill stations to encourage the reuse of drink containers
  • art collaborations and activations to shine a light on the harm caused by single-use plastics
  • volunteering opportunities to assist in beach clean-ups
  • ongoing awareness programs being deployed across digital and physical channels to Brookfield Properties’ tenant customers.

Breaking the Plastic Habit was also highly commended in WA’s WasteSorted 2022 awards.

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