Single use plastic policy
The amount of plastic waste generated annually in the UK is estimated to be nearly 5 million tonnes, which has a catastrophic effect on our environment, particularly our marine environment. Most plastics do not biodegrade, but instead photodegrade, meaning that they slowly break down, often over hundreds of years, into small fragments known as microplastics. If plastic products are made to last, are reused again and again, and then recycled at the end of their usefulness, they can be a sustainable option. The problem unfortunately is how prolific the everyday use of single-use plastic items has become. Wyre Council wants to help address the problem by reviewing its use of single use plastics leading to the reduction and eventual elimination of their use.
What are single-use plastics?
Also often referred to as disposable plastics, single use plastics are intended to be used only once or a few times before they are thrown away or recycled. This includes plastic packaging, grocery bags, plastic drinks bottles, body buffs, containers, straws, cups, dispensing containers for cleaning fluids, disposable items and materials used for packaging and marketing use.
The issue of single-use plastics and how to reduce, reuse and recycle will be very much a part of the authority’s work going forward and we will start by looking at our own business first. The ultimate goal is to achieve a single use plastic-free organisation across our workforce, operations and assets.
Wyre Council commits to:
- Engage with staff to ensure that single-use plastics are phased out across council locations
- That where possible improved recycling at council facilities be introduced regarding plastics and other materials
- Work with event organisers to reduce single-use plastics and provide improved recycling opportunities at events held on council land
- Use government legislation that regulates against the use of single use plastics to support our efforts
- Work with our supply chain to raise awareness and minimise the use of single-use plastics in service provision and seek sustainable alternatives
- Where single use plastic is unavoidable, encourage the use of recycled plastics and pursue pioneering recycling opportunities
- Encourage strategic partners to adopt single use plastic policies
- Share best practice and information about plastic free initiatives, to residents, businesses, visitors and beyond, through the council’s communication channels
- Join forces with external organisations who champion cleaner greener environments
- Communicate the importance of protecting our urban, rural and marine environments, and support and promote positive initiatives, campaigns and actions for reducing plastic waste
- Continue to support communities, beach cleans and litter-pick initiatives to ensure our parks, beaches and open spaces are free from plastic litter.
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