Coburg Farmers Market provides the community with Victorian produce direct from the farmers themselves. Every Saturday approximately thirty farmers and small-scale makers and producers provide the community with all their staple food needs—fresh, seasonal, and local.
The market runs every Saturday at Coburg Primary School.
A variety of waste reduction actions
Market customers bring their own shopping bags (no plastic bags are available on site) and many customers go above and beyond this by bringing back their egg cartons, berry containers and bread bags to be used again.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, their Wash Against Waste Station allowed them to wash and re-use all crockery and cutlery almost eliminating single use items at the market. All coffee single-use cups were banned and no bins were provided on site. The market is currently working through ways of continuing these waste reduction activities in a COVID-safe way.
While there are no immediate financial benefits for the market in running these waste reducing initiatives, the market organisers and stallholders care deeply about these issues and want to show others that zero-waste events are possible. The community of shoppers are also incredibly passionate about these issues and the sustainability focus of the market draws loyal customers.
A zero-waste future
The market has plans to buy a sterilising dishwasher with Coburg Primary School to improve the efficiency and sanitation of the wash station. Another goal for the markets is to encourage stallholders to consider their packaging, for example finding reusable alternatives to the use of brown paper bags for small ready-to-eat items.
Manager of the Coburg Farmers Market Prue Clark advises others thinking about starting a sustainability initiative to “take the lead.”
“You’re always going to get criticism and push back but generally people are quick to adapt their behaviour. If you can get through the first few weeks of teething, behaviour change can be significant and quick,” says Prue.
Embrace a waste reducing lifestyle
If you are looking for other ways to reduce waste at home, visit our Zero Waste action page.