Calls for Solihull council to ban single-use plastics - The Solihull Observer

Calls for Solihull council to ban single-use plastics

Solihull Editorial 4th Oct, 2018   0

A VISION for a plastic free Solihull council is set to be considered next week.

Green councillor Ben Groom will call for a ban on single-use plastics in council buildings and events on Tuesday (October 9).

He told us he hopes the council taking the lead would encourage other businesses and organisations in the borough to follow.

On documents released ahead of the meeting Coun Groom wrote: “Solihull residents are very aware of the increasing amount of evidence showing the significant impact of disposable plastic items on the world’s oceans, waterways, marine life, human health and the impact of litter on our communities.

“Solihull Council will commit to: 1. Develop a robust strategy to make Solihull a ‘single-use plastic free’ authority by the end of 2019, including an end to the purchase and procurement of single-use plastics through supply chain;

“2. End the sale and provision of single use plastic products such as bottles, cups, cutlery and drinking straws in council buildings; and 3. Investigate the possibility of requiring pop-up food and drink vendors at council events to avoid disposable plastic items as a condition of their contract.”

Coun Groom told The Observer the plans are a ‘possibility’ but feared the Conservative controlled council would be tough to win round.

He said: “It’s an issue that has had significant publicity in the last year.

“Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of plastic every year goes into the ocean, half a billion disposable coffee cups every year, 500million straws every day which aren’t being recycled. This is unnecessary.

“I know a lot of countries are considering a ban and the EU recently published a report on the matter.”

He said the Conservatives on the council introduced the plastic bag ban which has seen an 80 per cent drop in usage and he called on them to build on these achievements.

A number of councils have considered going plastic free but the first in the UK to introduce such a policy was Penzance Town Council in Cornwall.

The status is granted by the green charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) which was created to combat plastic pollution on the Cornish coastline.

Since then the movement has gone nationwide with a number of councils in the UK applying to be granted the charity’s coveted ‘plastic-free’ status.

The Green Party has also been vocal in pushing UK council’s to adopt the policy.

After Plymouth became the first plastic free city in June, there have been discussions for Birmingham and Bristol to follow suit.

Rachel Yates Plastic Free Communities project officer at Surfers Against Sewage said: “We have almost four hundred communities across the UK on this journey to reduce the impact of single use plastic through our five point plan; which includes education, events and encouraging action on an individual and business level.

“Local government support is a huge part of this process and we are increasingly encouraged by the number of local authorities who are looking at this issue and how they can support sustainable change in their communities.”

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