WESTSIDER PROFILES – CARSON LUK

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The driving force behind the ‘STRAWS SUCK’ campaign launched in June, Carson Luk is a tax accountant and president of the Sunshine Business Association.

He is striving to increase business for the 500 traders in the town centre through business support and community engagement, as well as find ways to effect environmental change through the Sustainability in Sunshine campaign.

“‘STRAWS SUCK’ is supported by the Brimbank City Council and the Friends of Kororoit Creek (FOKC).

“We saw an opportunity to enhance the attractiveness of our City while also positively affecting business profits. We have 80 café / restaurant owners in the town centre.

After undertaking a high level straw audit we discovered that on average, cafés and restaurants use between 200 to 500 straws a day – that’s 16,000 to 40,000 straws a day across Sunshine alone.”

The campaign is aimed at the owners of those establishments and their customers, hopefully convincing them to immediately switch from plastic to paper straws and over time decrease use of straws by phasing in a cost to customers.

“At a local level, namely along the Kororoit Creek we see plastic debris being consumed by wildlife – which is both indigestible and toxic – leading to a fundamental impact on the whole food chain. Historically the Kororoit Creek has been home to many native animals including platypus and through sustainability around the area we would love to see these native animals return.”

This ongoing campaign focuses on single use plastic straws during its first stage, and single use plastic bags, take away and drink containers are included in the overarching campaign as it unfolds across the region.

“The ‘STRAWS SUCK’ message is now visible on our street bins, and in conjunction with the FOKC we have also installed new bin-wraps on the 100 rubbish bins in and around Sunshine CBD. This sustainability campaign has been nominated for the Brimbank City Council Environmental and Sustainability Award which will be presented at the We Are Brimbank Gala Dinner on Friday 5th of October.”

Away from his busy work life, Carson is also a committee member of the H.V. McKay Memorial Gardens Strategic Management Group which oversees the implementation of the Brimbank City Council’s adopted Management Plan. The Group’s main purpose is to preserve the Gardens, access proposals impacting the Gardens and consideration of capital expenditure.

“My favourite hangout is Xuan Banh Cuon (our family restaurant in Sunshine) My family have lived in North Sunshine for 25 years!”

For more info please go to: http://www.sunshinebusiness.com.au/events/sustainability-in-sunshine

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