Plastic purge at the council under new green proposals

Ministers are considering a crackdown on single-use plastic bottles.
Ministers are considering a crackdown on single-use plastic bottles.
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A move to rid the council of single use plastic by the end of this year has been launched.

South Ribble councillors are being asked to support the bid, which would include banning plastic cups and cutlery in council buildings.

Councillor Paul Wharton, leader South Ribble independents and ward councillor Farington East, will put a motion - supported by fellow Leyland councillor Claire Hamilton - to full council later this month.

He will asked the authority to:

• Develop a robust strategy to make South Ribble Council a ‘single-use plastic free’ authority by the end of 2018 including an end to the purchase and procurement of SUPs through the Council’s supply chain.

• End the provision of SUP products such as cups and cutlery in council buildings.

• Investigate the possibility of requiring pop up food and drink vendors at council-run events to avoid SUPs as a condition of contract.

• Work with tenants and operators in commercial properties owned by South Ribble Borough Council to encourage the phasing out of SUP cups, bottles, cutlery and straws.

• Encourage the borough’s businesses, organisations and residents to go ‘single- use plastic free’ working with best practice partners to explore the creation of a ‘plastic free Network,’ that could provide business support, practical guidelines and advice to help local businesses transition from SUPs to sustainable alternatives.

He said: “We should be aiming to be an environmentally friendly authority and talk must lead to action. Together we should be committed to making a positive difference to the environment in South Ribble and we also need our partners to come on board with this.”

“I am very proud of this motion which will be presented to councillors at the next Full Council meeting to make South Ribble Borough Council one step closer to reducing and eventually removing the use of single use plastics in our organisation. I hope that all councillors can support this motion and the challenge set by the Prime Minister to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste within 25 years.”

Councillor Wharton said research shows eight million metric tonnes of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans each year, endangering marine life.

He claimed there is also a growing understanding of the risks posed to human health by toxic chemicals present in plastics.

And he pointed out that six months after the introduction of the 5p bag charge, use of single-use plastics bags had already dropped by 85 per cent.