Bridgwater Town Council Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community, Cllr Kathy Pearce (Westover) presented a draft policy on Single Use Plastics to the August meeting which was approved by the Council to go forward to consultation with members and user groups to return for decision at the october meeting. Kathy said “Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world today. The UK government estimates that there are currently more than 150m tonnes of plastic in the world’s oceans, and that some 100,000 sea mammals and one million birds die from eating or becoming tangled in plastic waste each year.Bridgwater Town Council is committed to taking leadership on tackling the plastic waste problem by taking responsibility for its own impact on the environment and society. “
What are single-use plastics?
Single-use plastics can include any disposable plastic item which is designed to be used only once, such as plastic bags, disposable utensils, beverage containers, coffee capsules, wet wipe, plastic drinks bottles, food wrappers, bottle tops, straws, stirrers and plastic lids.
What will Bridgwater Town Council Do?
Bridgwater Town Council is committed to taking leadership on tackling the plastic waste problem by taking responsibility for its own impact on the environment and society. This Council will work with staff and volunteers to eliminate the use of single-use plastics across its own operations and services and by all staff and volunteers, pro-actively work with partners to find positive solutions for reducing unnecessary waste plastic.
The Council commits to:
- Eliminate all non-reusable or non-recyclable Single Use Plastics from all properties and activities related to Bridgwater Town Council;
- Reduce use of plastics where possible;
- Recycle plastics and other recyclable materials where possible.
In addition, we will seek to eliminate or reduce the use of harmful chemicals (for example, cleaning chemicals) and purchase materials from environmentally friendly or renewable sources (for example, printer paper and toilet rolls).
Bridgwater Town Council will:
- work with partners and those hiring Town Council premises to provide alternative solutions to single use plastics;
- promote positive initiatives and campaigns for reducing plastic waste across the town;
- share guidance and best practice about plastic free initiatives to residents, businesses, visitors and beyond through the Council’s social media and communication channels. to assist others to become plastic free;
- work with Somerset County Council and Sedgemoor District Council, community groups and partnerships to support initiatives to ensure our parks, waterways and open spaces are free from litter;
- use government legislation that regulates against the use of single-use plastics to support our efforts where we can;
Where the use of plastics is unavoidable, the Council will encourage the use of recycled plastics, where practicable, and support manufacturers that make products from locally sourced materials.
Bridgwater Town Council will work to embed these commitments into the sustainable events guidance, sustainable procurement policy, and into other key council strategies, policies and plans.