Council set to eliminate single use plastic
Gloucestershire County Council has voted to stop its use of unnecessary single use plastics.
The original motion was put forward at its full council meeting yesterday by Cllr Eva Ward and amended to:
- Eliminate all single use plastic within county council managed buildings and facilities by 2020, and seek to encourage the elimination of single use plastic within its supply chain by 2025
- Asks the Gloucestershire Joint Waste Partnership to consider how they could promote the reduction of SUP across the county and to highlight areas of further lobbying to central government by both collection and waste disposal authorities
Cllr Eva Ward for the Green Party who proposed the motion said: “The success of Blue Planet II means that, as a society, we can’t plead ignorance any more. We know how harmful single-use plastics are to the environment and when there are so many alternatives available, there’s no reason to continue as we are. I was pleased when the government brought out their ‘green plan’, but the research published this week shows that we simply don’t have the luxury of time, and if we leave taking real action until 2042 then we will have damaged our oceans irreparably. We all have a duty to tackle this crisis and it’s time for Gloucestershire County Council to take the lead, be ambitious and to do something that will genuinely make a difference”
“As a result of raising the issue in the county council, there has already been a commitment that the Shire Hall staff café will stop using plastic cutlery, offer reduced price hot drinks for people with reusable cups, wrap sandwiches in biodegradable paper, and replace bottled water with a self service water cooler. This shows what can be done when there is a will. Although I’m disappointed that the original motion wasn’t approved, I’m pleased to have the Joint Waste Partnership involved.”
Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats who seconded the motion said: “The prevalence of plastic in our seas and oceans is an incredibly important issue. The success of the ‘plastic bag levy’ has led to an 85 per cent reduction in disposable plastic bag usage. Now I think the county council should go one step further. By becoming a single-use plastic-free council, and by raising awareness with Gloucestershire residents about the impact of single use plastics on the environment, we can make sure that our county leads on this topic and plays its part in protecting our environment for future generations.”
Cllr Lesley Williams, leader of the Labour group who supported the motion, said: “We know the detrimental effect that single-use plastics have on our environment. In councils and organisations up and down the country, people are becoming more conscientious of what they throw away and the amount of plastic waste they accumulate. It’s easy to make small changes that will have a big impact and this motion will ensure that Gloucestershire County Council does its bit in tackling this crisis.”
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure said: “We’re going to ask our staff to ‘refuse and reuse’ by refusing single use plastics wherever possible, and by swopping disposables for reusables. We’d like local residents to join us in doing this too. Gloucestershire councils will work together this year through the Joint Waste Committee to deliver information and advice to residents on how to avoid single use plastics and how to recycle those that cannot be avoided.
All Gloucestershire councils collect plastics at the kerbside and they are also accepted at household recycling centres. Visit recycleforgloucestershire.com to find out what types of plastic can be recycled in your local area. As a minimum this will include all plastic bottles; and sometimes pots, tubs and trays too.
Here's some ideas for reducing how much single use plastic you use:
- Use a glass instead of a plastic cup
- Say no to plastic cutlery and straws
- Source milk in reusable glass bottles
- Have leftovers for lunch
- Use a reusable bag
- Switch cling film for bees wax wraps
- Use a bread maker
- Use a reusable flask or mug to avoid disposable coffee cups
- Buy fruit and vegetables without plastic wrappers (such as from a market or a veg box scheme)
- When shopping switch plastic wrapped items for things sold in glass, paper, card or tins. For example: switch liquid laundry tablets for washing powder in a cardboard box or squeezey ketchup, oil or mayonnaise for a glass bottle or jar.