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Bonorong takes out EPA award

The Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary at Brighton is the inaugural winner of the EPA Sustainable Innovation in Industry Award.

The Award recognises businesses and organisations that share a passion and commitment for sustainability and to reducing environmental impacts on their business and the community. It was offered by the EPA as part of the Awards Australia – Community Achievement Awards.

The Community Achievement Awards for Tasmania are about recognising individuals, organisations and groups who are making a difference in our local communities and State.

Bonorong Director Greg Irons said the wildlife sanctuary has already trialled and implemented several sustainability issues and is always looking out for more.

"I am very passionate about acting in a sustainable way and enjoy seeing how little changes we can make in everyday life can result in change," Greg said.

"For example, we are currently phasing out plastic bottle caps for sale in our gift shop. Most of the drinks in our fridges are in glass bottles with metal lids, although we have had trouble sourcing glass alternatives for some essentials such as water. We have recently found a source of glass-bottled water and are looking into the feasibility of using these."

"Another step we have taken involves reducing overall plastic use and stopping all plastics going into rubbish bins," Greg said.

"The garbage bins we have in the park at the moment require a plastic bag liner to catch the rubbish. These are emptied daily. We try to re-use any plastic liners that are in a fit condition but this system means that we do go through a large number of plastic bags every week."

"What we hope to do is phase out these plastic liners and replace the bins with non-lined ones that can be easily emptied, hosed out and then re-used. This is part of our hope to reduce the number of disposable items we use and replace them with reusable, more durable alternatives."

Bonorong has also removed paper towels from one of their visitor washrooms and replaced them with air hand dryers.

"This trial will let us know how our visitors respond to the alternative and if it is acceptable we will be making the change in all our loos," Greg explained.

"Other initiatives we are currently looking at include switching our cleaning products to a more natural alternative and stocking fair trade coffee in our gift shop."

"These initiatives are an excellent way to educate people about a broad range of issues and to trigger some further discussion on the way we treat our environment," said Greg.

To find out more about Awards Australia and the EPA Sustainable Innovation in Industry Award visit: The Awards Australia website

For more information about the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary go t the Bonorong website